Clarence Hart, an applicant for employment as a group counselor with the Alameda County Probation Department (ACPD), brought suit under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§793-794, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that the ACPD refused to hire ...
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Clarence Hart, an applicant for employment as a group counselor with the Alameda County Probation Department (ACPD), brought suit under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§793-794, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that the ACPD refused to hire him based on his disability for discriminatory reasons. In addition, Hart alleged that the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972, 31 U.S.C. §1242, prohibited discrimination by recipients of federal revenue sharing funds. Hart was represented by the Employment Law Center of San Francisco and the Disability Law Resource Center of Berkeley.
Hart, a "controlled" epileptic, had for several years volunteered his services as a group counselor with the ACPD through its "Volunteers in Probation" program. In May, 1977, Hart applied to the ACPD for permanent employment as a group counselor. He claims that, although he passed the civil service examination and was placed on the eligibility list, he was refused employment solely because of his handicap. The ACPD moved to dismiss the complaint by arguing that handicapped persons may not enforce, through a private cause of action, the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act or the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act.
The District Court (Judge William Horsley Orrick, Jr.) denied the motion to dismiss by holding that Congress fully intended the statutory provisions to be privately enforced. Hart v. County of Alameda, 485 F.Supp. 66 (N.D.Cal. 1979). Judge Orrick held that the section of the Rehabilitation Act forbidding discrimination against qualified handicapped individuals in a program or activity receiving federal financial assistance was enforceable by Hart who had satisfactorily pursued his available administrative remedies. Judge Orrick found that the section of the Rehabilitation Act requiring that a contractor take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified handicapped individuals implicitly authorized handicapped individuals to maintain private enforcement actions. Judge Orrick also found that the plaintiff was not required to allege that federal funds received by the county were primarily intended to provide employment for handicapped persons in order to maintain an action for alleged violation of the Revenue Sharing Act.
The docket for this case was not available on PACER, and accordingly, we have no further information on the case.Kristen Sagar - 12/09/2007