Upfront Takeaway: If the EEOC sues you and you settle, you are likely not only to make a hefty payment, but to be required to be under EEOC oversight for many years.
Can you say “Yes sir?”
The latest company to settle is a manufacturing-tooling company in Indiana which withdrew a conditional job offer to a machinist because a physical exam “referenced a possible vision impairment related to a congenital eye condition. During litigation, the parties’ expert ophthalmologists agreed the applicant had normal vision.”
As the EEOC noted in its press release, “Withdrawing a job offer based on unsubstantiated stereotypical beliefs about a medical condition violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).”
Now the company not only has to pay $35,000, but it has also agreed to a Court order that:
- Its HR supervisors and managers, as well as business unit managers must attend a training seminar on disability discrimination.
- It will advance and maintain a disability policy.
- It will post a notice informing employees that federal law prohibits discrimination.
- It must report to the EEOC over a five-year period the instances when it withdraws a job offer based on the results of its post-offer physical examination.
- It must “engage in the interactive accommodation process whenever a qualified individual (employee or applicant for employment) with a disability requests a reasonable accommodation and to inform its employees that disability is not a factor to be considered in making any employment decision.”
An EEOC attorney gave the final takeaway: “The ADA ensures that employment decisions are made on an individual basis, not on preconceived beliefs about a medical condition. It is not only the law; it is common sense.”