EEOC Sues Manufacturer, Alleging Questionable Medical Exam Cost Applicant a Permanent Job

Be careful when requiring a job applicant to undergo a pre-offer physical examination not to use the test results to invent a reason to deny the person a job. You might wind up being sued under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

That’s the situation that UPCO, Inc., a manufacturer based in Claremore, Oklahoma, finds itself in.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it has filed suit against the company alleging to hire a temporary worker for a permanent job on the basis of a supposed disability that emerged during a “questionable” medical exam.

According to the EEOC, Lydia Summers began working at UPCO as a temporary receptionist at the front desk and assisting in the accounting department. After five successful months on the job, UPCO made Summers a conditional offer of full-time, permanent employment as a receptionist/accounts payable clerk. The offer was conditioned on Summers passing a pre-employment medical exam conducted by a third-party vendor called OneSource.

Following the exam, a physician for OneSource, who did not examine or question Summers, refused to approve her for employment with UPCO because of the supposed side effects of her prescription medications. Summers provided UPCO a letter from her physician stating that she did not suffer ill effects or impairments from her medications; however, without additional inquiry into her condition, the company rescinded its job offer.

“While pre-employment medical exams may be lawful under certain circumstances, using information obtained in such exams to discriminate against qualified applicants who are able to perform the job is not,” said James R. Neely, Jr., director of EEOC’s St. Louis District Office.

 

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