Chemtrusion Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination in Hiring
Manufacturing Services Co., Screened Out Applicants After Medical Examinations Without Any Individualized Assessment, Federal Agency Charged
A Southern Indiana manufacturing services company refused to hire or provide reasonable accommodations to a class of job applicants because of medical information it obtained during pre-employment medical examinations, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a recently filed lawsuit.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Chemtrusion, Inc. made job offers to experienced, qualified applicants which were conditioned on successful completion of a medical examination. Chemtrusion summarily withdrew the job offers upon receiving notice of medical impairments and/or the lawful use of prescription medication without individualized analyses or good faith effort to determine whether reasonable accommodations existed. In so doing, Chemtrusion violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
EEOC filed suit (Case No. 4:16-cv-00180) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent Chemtrusion from rejecting qualified individuals on the basis of disability or from failing to engage in an interactive dialogue to determine if a reasonable accommodation exists to enable applicants to perform the job for which they received a conditional job offer.
"The ADA prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees alike," said Kenneth Bird, Regional Attorney for EEOC's Indianapolis District Office. "To ensure a fair hiring process and equal opportunity for all applicants, employers must individually assess whether an applicant's medical impairments or medications prevent that applicant from performing essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation before rejecting an applicant because of a mental or physical impairment."
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's current Strategic Enforcement Plan.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at: www.eeoc.gov.