EEOC: Firing of Diabetic Driver Violated ADA

A Michigan company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it fired a truck driver because his pre-employment physical revealed he had diabetes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed on July 16.

The suit alleges that Vita Plus Corporation, an agricultural company with a facility in Gagetown, Mich., violated federal law by discriminating against a truck driver because of his disability. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Vita Plus discriminated against Brian Kaczorowski because of his disability – non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

On Sept. 19, 2013, Vita Plus hired Brian Kaczorowski for a driver’s position, contingent on his passing a pre-employment physical, the EEOC alleges. Beginning on Sept. 24, Kaczorowski worked three full days for Vita Plus – in training while riding along with other drivers. On Sept. 27, Vita Plus received Kaczorowski’s pre-employment physical report, in which the examin­ing doctor wrongly assessed him as a direct threat due to his diabetes. As a result, Vita Plus fired Kaczorowski the following day.

“An employer cannot deny employment opportunities to an otherwise qualified applicant simply because a disability is discovered during a pre-employment physical,” said EEOC Detroit Field Office Trial Attorney Omar Weaver. “Nor can an employer dodge its responsibility to conduct an individualized assessment of an applicant’s ability to perform the job in question.”

To read more about the case, click here.

For more on do’s and dont’s under the ADA, here’s information from the EEOC’s web site.

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