A recent lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) San Diego Office is seeking damages for alleged disability discrimination. The EEOC alleges that the Abatti Group and its subsidiaries required potential employees to perform physical exams and answer questions about their medical, and their families’ medical conditions prior to employment.
At least one applicant was allegedly denied employment on the basis of these illegal questions. The worker in question had applied as a dispatcher for Abatti’s El Centro location. The employee was provided a temporary job and he was allegedly informed that he would be considered for permanent hire only after taking a physical exam and drug test. The applicant claimed that he was asked about disability related information and family medical conditions. The applicant told Abatti that he had been hospitalized due to a heart condition that was also shared with his family members. The applicant was not given the position even though he had been working as a temporary employee up until the time of his medical exam.
The EEOC attempted to settle this lawsuit informally, but could not reach an agreement. It is now seeking the typical damages in disability discrimination lawsuits: back pay, compensatory and punitive damages. The EEOC contends that the applicant was not hired due to being considered disabled and that the company illegally asked about his family medical conditions. The EEOC also contends that this information was irrelevant to the applicant’s position.
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
This case in interesting because the EEOC is bringing it under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). GINA makes it illegal for any employer to base an employment decision on genetic information. An employer may not ask about an employee or applicant’s genetic information, perform genetic testing for employment related decisions, or otherwise obtain the results of genetic testing. The rationale for this is because employers may make unfair adverse employment decisions based on whether an individual has an increased risk of getting a disease or disabling medical condition.
If you have been discriminated against by an employer, former employer, or potential employer due to your disability or perceived disability contact a California employment law attorney right away. You may be entitled to a lawsuit or settlement for an employer’s discrimination or discriminatory practices. To learn more contact the employment lawyers of the Law Offices of Michael S. Cunningham, LLP. Schedule a free consultation by calling (951) 213-4786 today.