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Debt Collection Law Firm Settles with DOJ over Alleged Bias Against Deaf Persons

Posted Jan 4, 2013 1:04 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Maryland law firm has agreed to pay $30,000 to resolve allegations that it discriminated against deaf people in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Peroutka & Peroutka, a debt collection law firm in Pasadena, Md., reached the agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, according to a press release. The law firm will pay two deaf complainants $15,000 each and will accept Video Relay Service calls from deaf individuals. In face-to-face meetings with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, the law firm will provide appropriate auxiliary aids, including sign language interpreters.

Peroutka employees were accused of hanging up on one complainant and informing the other that she would have to call back at a specific when a manager was present. Both callers were trying to resolve disputes over alleged unpaid debts, according to the settlement agreement.

A lawyer from the law firm did not immediately return a request for comment.

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