Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit alleging that Celadon, Inc., a major trucking company based in Indianapolis, unlawfully subjecting prospective employees to medical examinations and refused to hire qualified applicants due to their actual or perceived disabilities.
According to the EEOC, Celadon administered medical examinations to applicants for driving positions before the company would extend a conditional offer of employment. The EEOC claims that Celadon conducted these examinations in a way that was inconsistent with the standards provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carriers Administration. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that Celadon then used the results of the examination – which were aimed at detecting disabilities – to refuse to hire qualified candidates whom Celadon perceived as disabled.
The alleged conduct violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits both discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived disability and prohibits employers from performing medical examinations on job applicants before making conditional offers of employment.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Celadon, in addition to a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in employment practices that violate the ADA.
Laurie Young, regional attorney for the Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC, commented on the suit saying:
“Celadon and all motor carriers must conduct medical examinations in accordance with the ADA. An employer cannot conduct a medical examination of a job applicant until the employer has given the applicant a job offer conditioned upon the applicant passing the examination. The EEOC will enforce these obligations.”
The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive discrimination practice and has broad experience fighting for the rights of employees who have been victims of discrimination by their employers.