Celadon Trucking Services Inc. will pay $200,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Indianapolis-based trucking carrier was sued by the EEOC on behalf of 23 former Celadon applicants, who will receive monetary damages as a result of the suit, the agency announced Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The EEOC initially filed a complaint against Celadon in February 2012, alleging unlawful employment practices under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The complaint states that Celadon violated the ADA by maintaining policies and practices which subjected applicants to pre-offer disability-related inquiries and examinations. The inquiries and examinations were made by Celadon despite the fact that the applicants had not yet been offered jobs. According to the EEOC, at least two of the applicants were denied jobs based on their disabilities, despite the fact that both applicants were fully qualified to drive trucks.
The inquiries and examinations occurred during driver orientation programs, and included vision and hearing screenings, blood and urine tests, blood pressure checks and other cardiovascular examinations. In addition, applicants were also requested to provide medical histories and lists of medications they had been prescribed.
Some of the applicants were rejected for being hard of hearing, while another was reportedly not hired due to being on blood thinner medication, according to the complaint filed by EEOC.
“These inquiries proximately and legally resulted in tangible harm to qualified applicants who met the standards for truck drivers set forth by the Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including rejection for hire based on information obtained from these impermissible pre-offer disability-related inquiries,” attorneys for the EEOC wrote in the complaint.
Along with the monetary damages, the settlement requires that the company train its management employees on disability discrimination, post a notice of non-discrimination at its work site, submit annual reports detailing its compliance with the decree, and furnish other non-monetary relief, including inviting qualified class members to attend the company's driver orientation program. The terms of the consent decree last for five years.
The agreement also requires Celadon to “cease reporting false information on the DAC and/or HireRight reports” and to request the removal of all false information about the 23 members of the class that the company supplied to those websites.
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