A federal judge in Michigan has ordered an Arkansas motor carrier to pay a dozen of its former drivers back wages along with compensatory and punitive damages following a disability discrimination lawsuit.
PAM Transport Inc. was sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2009. The agency alleged that PAM violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring all of its drivers to notify the company whenever the driver had contact with a medical professional, including routine physicals, according to a release issued by the EEOC on March 4.
Judgment in the amount of $477,399 was entered against the company on Feb. 26. The court order requires PAM to pay $225,998 in back wages and interest; $49,114 in compensatory damages; and $202,287 in punitive damages to 12 of its former truck drivers.
The company’s overly broad medical inquiries violate provisions of the ADA, which bar employers from making medical inquiries of employees unless the inquiries are job-related and consistent with business necessity.
According to the release, the court issued an order mandating the company to change its medical clearance policy to make medical inquiries of drivers only when they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. To help resolve remaining issues, the court appointed a retired judge as third-party decision maker.
According to the company website, PAM is an international over-the-road trucking company operating in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a holding company, P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc., both of which are headquartered in Tontitown, Ark.
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