Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On April 4, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – announced that national trucking company JBS Carriers, Inc. would pay $250,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
$250,000 EEOC Discrimination Lawsuit
JBS Carriers contracted with a third party to administer pre-employment screening of applicants for truck driving jobs. The EEOC claimed that this process unlawfully screened out people with disabilities who were qualified for the truck driving jobs they sought, according to a press release from the EEOC.
The screening subjected all applicants to a medical history questionnaire, a physical examination, and physical abilities tests. If applicants failed any test, they received a negative job recommendation and the EEOC lawsuit claimed JBS Carriers withdrew conditional job offers based on the recommendations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and makes it illegal for employers to impose standards or criteria for job applicants that have the effect of discriminating based on disability or that screen out individuals with disabilities.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC claimed the screening required by JBS Carriers violated the ADA by excluding qualified applicants with disabilities, not giving individual consideration to job applicants, discriminating against job applicants based on disability, and failing to provide reasonable accommodations.
JBS Carriers now only requires job applicants to obtain the Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certification necessary to be a licensed commercial truck driver. The company will not implement any physical or medical screening apart from the DOT medical certification and a urine drug test.
“The company’s willingness to cease the screening practices at issue shows a commitment to ensuring that all individuals qualified for a job have a level playing field and an equal opportunity for hiring,” Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office stated in the press release.
The settlement payment of $250,000 will be distributed among five individuals who were adversely impacted by the screening and who participated in the EEOC’s investigation. The EEOC press release about the settlement is at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-4-19.cfm.
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