EEOC Gets $47K for Applicant Denied Job After Employer Learned He Took Prescription Drugs

You can bet that Hoeganaes Corporation won’t again make the mistake of rescinding a job offer to an applicant because he or she is taking prescription medication. Or at least without following up with a post-offer physical examination.

That alleged mistake cost the New Jersey-based company, which produces atomized steel and iron powders, $47,500 as the price for settling an Americans With Disabilities Lawsuit brought on the applicant’s behalf by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC alleged that Hoeganaes offered the applicant a maintenance mechanic position at its Gallatin, Tenn. location. However, according to the EEOC, the company did not follow through with the offer once it learned he took prescription drugs for an anxiety disorder and high blood pressure, after a pre-employment physical examination.

Hoeganaes immediately sent the applicant to his primary care physician (PCP) to obtain clearance. The PCP stated that the applicant “should” be able to perform the job functions.

Rather than accept this statement, Hoeganaes rescinded the job offer without ever allowing the applicant to undergo a physical examination. That meant the company regarded the applicant as a disabled individual incapable of doing the job, the EEOC concluded.

After a job is offered to an applicant, the ADA allows an employer to condition the job offer on the applicant answering certain medical questions or successfully passing a medical exam, provided that all new employees in the same type of job have to answer the questions or take the exam.

To read more about the laws settlement, click here.


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