A Southern Indiana manufacturing services company refused to hire or provide reasonable accommodations to a class of job applicants because of medical information it obtained during pre-employment medical examinations, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on October 19, 2016.
According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Chemtrusion, Inc. made job offers to experienced, qualified applicants which were conditioned on successful completion of a medical examination. Chemtrusion summarily withdrew the job offers upon receiving notice of medical impairments and/or the lawful use of prescription medication without individualized analyses or good faith effort to determine whether reasonable accommodations existed. In so doing, Chemtrusion was alleged to have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC filed suit (Case No. 4:16-cv-00180) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief to prevent the Company from rejecting qualified individuals on the basis of disability or from failing to engage in an interactive dialogue to determine if a reasonable accommodation exists to enable applicants to perform the job for which they received a conditional job offer.
Based on earlier EEOC cases, employers using medical examinations should conduct a functional job analysis and create written job descriptions for each position subject to a post-offer medical examination. Employers are directed to individually assess whether an applicant’s medical impairments or medications prevent that applicant from performing essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation before rejecting an applicant because of a mental or physical impairment. Blanket rejections based on a medical condition does not meet the ADA interactive process requirements. The same concepts will apply to the use of a post offer medical questionnaire.
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