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EchoStar loses suit to disabled man

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Blount, May 8, 2005.

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  1. May 8, 2005 #1 of 86
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    A Denver jury awarded $8 million Friday to a man who claimed he was denied employment at EchoStar Communications Corp. because he is blind.

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued EchoStar in 2002, claiming the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when Dale Alton applied for a customer-service job in 1999.

    According to the EEOC, EchoStar could have accommodated Alton by installing assistive software. EchoStar argued that the installation was cost-prohibitive.

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  2. May 8, 2005 #2 of 86
    Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Sheesh. I'm sure it wasn't THAT cost prohibitive. But by the same token, this is one of those places the AdA has no business in people's business. And mind you, this is being said by someone with a deaf brother who was once fired because he was deaf (and couldn't answer the phone--which could be done with a CHEAP accomidation that the company didn't want to make).
     
  3. May 8, 2005 #3 of 86
    Bobby94928

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    I'm curious here Cap.....

    Sure, you can easily add a light circuit to the incoming ring signal, I did several of those as an old telephone man years ago. However, my question is what happens after you answer the phone? Can you hear what the calling party is saying?

    My point here is that, if a person's job is to answer the phone and field questions, if you can't hear the question, you need a different job. I'm not being discompassionate, just realistic.

    On this same train of thought, back in 1980 I trained a man who had macular degeneration (an impairment of sight) to "see" a computer monitor. Actually, he had a device that he would wave over the CRT and then he would "feel" what it said on an electronic device. It was my job to access his ability to do what was necessary to complete our function. Our function was to test nationwide data circuits remotely. After 2 months, I found that he could actually do the tests but that it took him 4 times as long to get them done. We found another job for him.
     
  4. May 8, 2005 #4 of 86
    larrystotler

    larrystotler Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The real question is whether this was a setup, and this guy was looking for a free meal ticket. I have several disabled friends,a nd most live better than I do off of their monthly check for their disability. That would be like a guy in a wheelchair suing a roofing company because they won't hire him. How is it fair for a company to have to pay for the cost of 5-10 employees just to hire that 1 guy that is disabled? Heck, a lot of diabled people that I know COULD work, but are too lazy to do so BECAUSE they are already getting a check.
     
  5. May 8, 2005 #5 of 86
    terfmop

    terfmop Legend

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    Don't assume all people are getting checks because they have a disability. Just because you have a disability does not mean you qualify to get a check. My wife was in a wheelchair since college, she didn't qualify to get a check from social security because she knew she could find a job and work. I know a man who was able, to get an education and work. Once he was able to gain employment, he told social security to stop the checks.If your condition is such that you are unable to work, then you qualify. However, if there is some job you are able to do then you don't qualify.
     
  6. May 8, 2005 #6 of 86
    Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    There has been a device for many years called a TDD (Telephone device for the Deaf--also caled a TTY) and with it my brother uses the phone all the time. All one would need to do is give him a TDD (about a $100, but he could have brought in one of ours to use) and the person wanting to call him (his wasn't a job with the public so would have been all people who were in the company) would either also use a TDD, or use a relay service. (http://deafness.about.com/cs/relayservices/a/internetrelay.htm)

    That wasn't my brother's job. I'm just pointing out that often companys CAN make accomidations, and merely don't wish to go through the hassle.
     
  7. May 8, 2005 #7 of 86
    stonecold

    stonecold Banned User

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    As an employer I had one of hese lawsuits and Won it and then sued the sh*t out of the disabled person to reclaim lawyer fees.

    he was a in a wheel chair couldnt walk but a very intellegent person. He was extremely qualified Computer tech but had no programing knowledge or experience. And the job listing was very clearly stated for a programmer. He tried suing me. He was seaking all kinds of crap and I could not belive it was the same guy I had an interview with. My Business was(before i sold it ) on the 2nd floor of my home. and he was claming he was qualified for the job in the paper and that I did not want to have to accomidate his disablity. HA I would not have mind he could of worked from the office space I still hade leased where I did have other employees. Or I would of found a solution here. But he would of had to been qualified and reading learning c++ in 21 days does not make you qualified.

    After two weeks of my lawyer yelling the judge finally got a brain and told the guy he had no claim. Also it seems that in my case this was not the first time that the gy who had sued me had sued others in town.
     
  8. May 8, 2005 #8 of 86
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    An $8 million award is crazy. Even if Charlie had poked the guy's eyes out himself, $8 million is just plain nuts. The ADA is a carnival of cash payouts for any disabled person smart enough to call a lawyer. Why do you think lawyers own the backs of phone books?

    These ridiculously excessive awards ultimately find their way into our monthly rates and into our pockets.

    It's out of control.
     
  9. May 8, 2005 #9 of 86
    Richard King

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    The problem with relay services is that they have been taken over by scam artists to steal goods from unknowing merchants. I was getting calls from all over the country through relay services for quite a while a little while back. The first one I received was from someone in "Ohio" who wanted to order a home theater system. When I told the operator that I needed more info than a generic term "home theater system" the fellow on the other end didn't know how to answer. After trying to communicate what info that I needed for about 10 minutes I gave up and hung up. I started getting the same kind of calls on a regular basis after this, as many as two or three a day for a while. A few weeks later I read about an offshore scam operation that had defrauded companies all over the country of millions in goods through scam relay calls. I got another one last week and simply told the operator that I don't take relay calls because they are mostly scam artists on the other end and hung up.
    http://www.spokane.bbb.org/alerts/alerts.html?newsid=583&newstype=1
    http://trsa.vbad.org/
     
  10. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I'm not sure how this is any more of a scam than with a phone?
     
  11. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    It is used to better hide the identity of the perp. Most of the calls, from my research, are from foreign people living in the US. I suspect that those that I received were from foreigners also simply because of their lack of ability to communicate properly what they were looking for. The perp uses a stolen credit card number to "pay" for the goods, has them shipped overnight or two day to a legit address (a rented box where he uses a "suite number"), picks up the goods and forwards it on to the final destination after closing out the box rental.
     
  12. Chukee

    Chukee Mentor

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    If your disabled friends are living better than you then I assume you are a slave or a couch potatoe waiting for your foodstamps to arrive. 579 a month is not living like a king. And you comparing a person in a wheelchair trying to get hired as a roofer is the dumbest comparison so far. The person in question is blind and wants to answer a phone. He doesnt want to be a taxi cab driver. The most dish would of had to do was give him a phone with braille on on it and if he had to use a computer a braille keyboard with software for the blind. And then you talk about it not being fair for a billion dollar business company to hire a diabled person? You serious? 200 dollars at the most for this guy. Companies pay for your schooling sometimes to hire you. Dish dropped the ball on this one and they have to pay.
     
  13. larrystotler

    larrystotler Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Gold Club

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    That's not true at all. #1, his ability to help a customer would be very slow if he had to read everything in braille. You are talking about 2-5 times longer responses for a blind or deaf person that for a person without these impairments. Also, since the CSRs have to input into a screen and read instructions, the person would have to undergo much more extensive training and be able to recall much more information from memory in order to speed up the process. We see enough complaining when it comes to the foreign CSRs that are being employed. This would be a much worse situation in many ways. And way more expensive than your $200 figure. Quite frankly, unless the person was very good, it would be very difficult for them. I am NOT begrudging the guy for looking for work. I am saying that perhaps he should have looked for something more suited to his abilities. As for my diabled friends, a few of them have homes they don't have to pay for and get over $1000 a months from disability and SSI. Also, ALL of their medical bills are completely paid for. If I didn't have any bills, I could live fairly well on that and not have to work. They are also given a great deal by the community. Some deserve it. Some don't. However, when it comes right down to it, the awards being given out are outrageous and these people don't deserve to live like kings in order to punish a company. This guy's $8 mill isn't as much, but the pain and suffering crap is getting carried away. It's more the lawyers fault.
     
  14. terfmop

    terfmop Legend

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    Take a look back at all the posts regarding E*'s standard customer service. Speed isn't necessarily the pressing issue. I think most of us would much rather spend an additional couple minutes on the phone if it meant getting precise and accurate information. Hiring someone that would have to take their time and think a little bit might help the standard customer service quality.
     
  15. Chukee

    Chukee Mentor

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    believe it or not blind people can read braille as fast as you can read words. So that dont fly. Dish should of gave the man a chance to see that. The man found a job he can do and thats answer a phone. Last time I checked a blind person can do that as fast as a person who can see. Todays computer software lets blind people use a computer to the fullest. They do it everyday now. Yes...that may be a little slower than most but I have seen people finger peck there way around a keyboard. As long as he doesnt make a 10 min phone call into a 30 min one i see no problem with it. Dish should of found out that. They didnt. And if he couldnt do the job with add on software and braille then dish was right in not hireing him. Dish never did that. And now they must pay. And the reward has nonething to do with the man now living like a king. It has all to do with dish not making that mistake again. And if this suite holds up they wont.

    And if you feel your disabled friends are getting checks they dont deserve then turn them in. Im not saying there are no abuses because there are but if you feel that you know that much about your disbabled friends disablility then by all mean turn them in. And by the way. SSI doesnt pay out more than 579 as of this year. SSI uses the get back system. You make a dollar from somewhere else we get back 2 dollars. If your friends are getting more than that then its not from SSI. Has to be from a jobs disability. Only time SSI will pay more than the max is if the person has a family to feed. And I believe the max on that is 700.
     
  16. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    I have a disabled child. Her supplies are very costly. My insurance doesn't cover items like diapers for a 9 year old. I also have to pay substantial amounts for therapy services just so I can hope that one day she would be able to read braille. SSI has denied me 6 times even through the appeals process to gain SSI benefits for my disabled child. People do not give enough credit to people with disabilities that are trying to lead a normal life. You would be amazed at how many times I have to back the van up before we get in because some jerk decided they didn't want to walk 20 feet into the store and decided to park in the area that the chair-lift needs to extend. I had a older woman go into a huff at a McD's because my daughter was shaking and that made the seat vibrate. Come on, these individuals are discriminated against every day. All they want is a shot at life. People who stick their noses up at that need to be kicked in the a$$.

    And the people who abuse the system and screw it up for people that really need the assistance can burn in hell.


    My rant for the day!

    Jason
     
  17. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Ok... I didn't want to get in the middle, but I have to say a couple of things on behalf of both sides!

    First... Given all the Dish CSR horror stories in here, I can't believe anyone would even dare to say a blind guy would be too slow or not good at the job. Partially in jest and partially serious... I can't think of anything about how a blind guy would do the job that could be any worse than some of the CSRs I've heard about... and if they guy actually cares about what he is doing, he might try harder than the average joe because he feels a little extra pressure to do well.

    Second... $8 million? Ok, I understand people being "done wrong" by companies... I'm with that... but how much do CSRs make? Would one ever make $8 million in a lifetime? Somehow $8 million seems a little excessive. Seems to me like the worst case scenario for a lawsuit like that would be if the guy can prove he is capable of doing the job, maybe they pay him the equivalent of 10-20 years worth of salary assuming he would have done a good job and not been fired... I don't know what that would add up to, but it seems like it would be a lot less than $8 million.
     
  18. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I had a grandfather with an amputated leg (or I guess, he was without the leg but you know what I mean)... anyway, he refused to park in handicapped spaces even though he was elligible and had the tag and all... because he was kind of proud and he said that he was able to walk still, so he felt like he shouldn't take up the space that someone else really needed.

    I always think about that every time I see some "I'm so special" genius who parks in the handicap space OR parks so that he blocks a ramp or something... it drives me nuts. A little walking never killed anyone, but some folks just have to be first so bad they will mess with other people on the way.

    Oddly, those are the same kind of people whose "normal" kids act up and drive people nuts in many cases...

    Some people, as you no doubt have experienced unfortunately, just don't know any ends to how amazingly self-centered and stupid they can be.

    That's where I walk the tightrope sometimes... When I was in elementary school, there was a guy in one of my classes who had epileptic seizures... Thing was, he was also kind of an ass... and he would fake seizures to get what he wanted... so you REALLY had to pay attention to know when he needed help and when he was playing you.

    I always felt guilty for doubting him... except, I knew he was faking it sometimes... if you're around someone like that long enough, you start to learn the subtle differences that just can't be faked.
     
  19. johnfmc345

    johnfmc345 New Member

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    $8 million. I guess he's not looking for work anymore.
     
  20. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Funny....

    What humors me to think about, is if he gave it to his church or other charity then demanded a job. Like I and a few others implied, a lot of disabled people just want to lead a normal life. If they are proud and really want to achieve this then they will continue their quest to work. Then again, as HDme and a few others pointed out, there are some jerks out there who abuse the system. But then again, you do not need to be disabled to abuse the system. Example, were you 100% completely honest about the numbers on your tax return this year? :D Yup I know, so was everyone else.
     
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