Deaf job applicant cannot prove discrimination when employer defines job to require "good communication skills"
Kelli Rakozy received an inquiry from Advance Print & Graphics and its owner Gary Hambell, expressing interest in employing her as a senior graphics designer. Hambell did not indicate where he found Rakozy's resume, but based on the resume, he deemed Rakozy qualified to fill the position. Rakozy responded by e-mail and made an appointment for an interview butdid not tell Hambell that she was deaf. When Hambell caught on, he terminated the interview and deemed Rakozy unqualified, due to her disability, to communicate effectively with clients. When she became angry and threatened to sue, he also deemed her to have an "aggressive and punitive personality."
The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's dismissal of Rakozy's discrimination claim. It pointed to precedent granting employers broad discretion in defining the particular job requirements of a proposed position. On that basis, it could not concluded that Rakozy was deprived the opportunity to apply for a job that was "unrelated to her ability to perform."