A federal judge has ruled that hearing aid companies are in violation of the Fair Housing Act by not protecting their customers from discriminatory practices and discrimination lawsuits that have been filed against them.
The ruling from Judge John P. Zwilling is the first legal victory for the Hearing Aid Industries Association (HIA), which represents the companies that make hearing aids and other hearing aids.
The hearing aid industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country.
A recent lawsuit against the company that makes the devices known as hearing aids by its trademark name was dismissed by a federal judge, and in January a federal appeals court found that the company was violating the ADA by failing to protect its consumers.
The HIA filed a lawsuit in June 2017 against the companies, alleging that the companies failed to adequately respond to complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment in the industry.
In a court filing, the company said that it had been informed by two companies in 2014 that a complaint had been filed by a woman who claimed to have experienced sexual harassment.
The complaint, which was made through a complaint form and not a complaint, did not mention any specific company, and the company had not yet received the complaint.
The lawsuit claimed that the hearing aid manufacturer and other companies that made hearing aids “have failed to properly protect their customers, employees, suppliers, and customers from discrimination and harassment because of their discriminatory conduct, and because of a failure to adequately monitor complaints and take corrective action.”
A hearing aid maker’s response to a customer’s complaint is an example of a violation of Title VII, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded programs and activities.
According to the lawsuit, the hearing aids company and other manufacturers who make hearing aid “have violated the law by failing, for example, to provide employees with access to appropriate and free training to protect against discrimination.”
The lawsuit said the hearing devices were “a direct target for sexual harassment and discrimination because they are a tool to help patients understand and control the loudness of their voices,” and that a company had to notify its customers that the devices were being marketed to children.
The companies also allegedly made “false and misleading representations” to their customers about the safety of their products, the lawsuit said.
In response to the case, the companies said that they were “reviewing the matter with respect to our responses and response policies.”
The hearing aids companies are also in the process of purchasing new hearing aids, and they said they were working with regulators to address safety concerns, according to a statement.
The law prohibits discrimination against people based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or genetic information, and it provides equal protection under the law.
A hearing aids industry spokesperson told Breitbart News that the lawsuits would not stop the company from continuing to make its products.
“We continue to be committed to addressing safety and security concerns for our customers and employees,” the spokesperson said.
“It is important to note that we are confident that our safety practices are safe and in compliance with the ADA.”
The Hia has asked for $50 million in damages, according the company, but the hearing industry is in a position to collect that amount if the companies settle their lawsuit.
The company said it has been in touch with several hearing aid manufacturers to make sure they are doing what they are legally required to do.
“The manufacturers have agreed to ensure the safety and quality of our products and continue to take immediate corrective action,” the company stated.
The Hearing-Aid Industry Association, which represents hearing aid makers, told Breitbart that the ruling will affect its members and their customers.
“As this case demonstrates, the ADA is not about protecting the vulnerable, but about ensuring that everyone who needs hearing aids is able to have them,” the association said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“This is why the hearing-aid industry is working to educate and empower consumers and companies alike on how to take effective corrective action to ensure hearing aids are safe, effective, and convenient for all people.”