NYC Cited for ADA Violation in Requiring Medical Testing Before Conditional Offer of Employment

Was there something in the water? Why would New York City–home supposedly to the best lawyers in the country–permit a hiring procedure under which a job applicant for a school crossing guard position first had to go to medical testing before receiving a conditional offer of employment.

That’s an obvious no-no under the Americans With Disabilities Act. An employer can condition a job offer on undergoing medical testing, but it can’t send someone off for medical tests without a conditional job offer in hand.

“After a conditional offer has been made, an employer may then require a prospective employee to undergo a medical examination,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “The purpose of this two-step process is so that an applicant will be able to discern if he or she was rejected for medical or psychological reasons.”

In a settlement entered into Thursday, the city agreed it had such a hiring procedure for applicant Regina Sessoms Skeete. It agreed to abandon the procedure, make her a condition offer of employment, and pay her $65,000.

The settlement was officially between the U.S. Department of Justice–which oversees enforcement of the ADA against public employers–and the city. According to the DOJ’s announcement of the settlement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission assisted in the case.

Here’s the settlement announcement and consent decree and complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in the case of USA v. The City of New York.

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