Peroutka lawfirm settles discrimination lawsuit
Jan 05, 2013 (The Capital - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The law firm of a former presidential candidate from Pasadena must pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging discrimination against the deaf, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.
The lawsuit claimed the debt-collection firm, Peroutka & Peroutka P.A., discriminated against disabled individuals by refusing video calls from deaf people, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.
It also claimed Peroutka & Peroutka employees hung up on a deaf caller, according to the statement, and that a deaf client was asked to call back when a manager was present.
The settlement requires Peroutka & Peroutka to pay $30,000 in compensation to the complainants; revise its procedures to accept video calls and train staff to follow guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities at places of public accommodation, including law firms.
Stephen G. Peroutka, who opened the firm in the 1980s, said the lawsuit stemmed from an incident about eight years ago and the company has been in compliance with the ADA for at least six years. He said his staff includes disabled individuals and that he considers himself a friend to people with disabilities.
Peroutka also is the founder of the chairman of the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, D.C. His partner and brother, Michael A. Peroutka, was the 2004 Constitution party candidate for president and founded the Institute on the Constitution in Pasadena.
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