EEOC: Employer Violated ADA by Imposing Irrelevant Qualification Standards on Workers

If you are going to require your workers to pass qualification standards for a particular job, make sure they are relevant to the job and not applied to screen out qualified individuals with disabilities.

Because it allegedly had qualification standards that didn’t fit that description, a manufacturing company in York, Pennsylvania, finds itself $180,000 poorer.

That’s the price for global paper manufacturer P.H. Glatfelter to settle a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by requiring equipment operators to pass a physical examination and comply with U.S. Department of Transportation standards, the EEOC announced yesterday.

According to the EEOC, company required all individuals who applied for or worked in positions involving operation of forklifts or similar motorized industrial equipment to undergo a medical exam­ination and pass DOT physical qualification standard operating  commercial motor vehicles. Federal law does not require drivers of forklifts or similar equipment to pass the DOT standards for commercial motor vehicles. According to the suit, Glatfelter nonetheless applied the DOT standards in a manner that screened out qualified individuals with disabilities.

EEOC further maintained that Glatfelter failed to conduct individualized assessments of applicants’ and employees’ ability to operate the equipment at issue or to determine whether a reasonable accommodation would enable them to do so. EEOC said that Glatfelter rescinded job offers to two qualified applicants with disabilities, thus violating the ADA.

Here’s the EEOC’s announcement of the settlement.

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