The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit on Nov. 30, 2017 against Stevens Transport, a refrigerated trucking company, for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the EEOC, the company told a potential hire Bill Brown that they could not hire him due to a company policy that prevented the hiring of people with the medication he uses to control his bipolar disorder, which is recognized as a disability under ADA (and also California FEHA). The applicant had a report from his medical provider stating he was safe to drive. And there are no U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations barring this medication, according to EEOC.
“The trucking company unlawfully refused to hire this qualified candidate, disregarding his physical exam results, his completion of training, and the positive report from his medical provider,” said EEOC regional attorney Robert A. Canino. “The company put up an unnecessary roadblock to Mr. Brown’s employment by discounting his skills and abilities as a driver when it turned him away.”
The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the victim of this ADA violation, as well as injunctive relief to stop future discrimination by the company. “Neither Stevens Transport nor the physician it contracted with made an individual assessment of Mr. Brown,” said EEOC trial attorney Meaghan L. Shepard Sr. He further added: “In addition to violating the ADA, Stevens lost an opportunity to add a valuable employee to its team. Mr. Brown is a veteran who gave years of his life for his country and who has gone on to become a successful truck driver with another company – which should demonstrate his professional fitness.”