Disability discrimination is a major problem in the workplace. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received over 26,000 disability discrimination complaints in 2017 alone. Fortunately, the EEOC is taking action to seek justice on behalf of disabled employees across the country. Here’s a look at the agency’s recent efforts to prevent disability discrimination:
Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and job applicants. Failing to make these accommodations is a form of disability discrimination and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas recently learned this the hard way.
A deaf applicant told a recruiter at the company that she needed a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the audio portion of an online exam. Instead of providing her with this accommodation, the recruiter stopped responding to the applicant. Now, the EEOC is suing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas on behalf of the applicant.
Using Medical Exams to Screen Out Disabled Applicants
The EEOC is also taking legal action against Dollar General, a discount retail chain. According to the EEOC, Dollar General asked job candidates to undergo medical examinations after they had been offered a job with the company. The retailer then used the results of these examinations to screen out candidates with certain health conditions or disabilities.
For example, the retailer discovered that one candidate could not see out of his right eye. The company informed the candidate that employees must have at least 20/50 vision, even though having near-perfect vision was not necessary to perform the job. Dollar General told the candidate that he no longer qualified for the position and rescinded his offer. Thanks to the EEOC, the company will now have to justify their discriminatory behavior in court.
Terminating Employees Because of Their Health Conditions
The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against Signature Industrial Services, LLC for wrongfully terminating three employees, who were brothers, because they all had a rare genetic blood disorder. The company feared that providing health insurance coverage for these three employees would be too expensive because of their health condition, so their employment was terminated. By filing this lawsuit, the EEOC is sending a strong message to employers everywhere that it is illegal to fire employees because of a health condition or disability.
If you have been discriminated against because of a disability, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced attorneys are passionate about holding employers accountable for their discriminatory practices. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.