Power Outage: Utility to Pay $1.5 Million to Settle ADA Suit Over Refusal to Hire Disabled Persons

A Georgia power company is paying a heavy price for its obstinance in refusing to employ persons with disabilities.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Georgia Power Company, headquartered in Atlanta, has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million to settle alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The company refused to hire applicants and fired employees based on their disabilities or perceived disabilities, the government charged.

According to EEOC’s complaint, in some cases, Georgia Power disregarded the opinions of treating physicians who supported the employees’ and applicants’ ability to work. Rather than independently evaluating each employee or applicant, Georgia Power simply refused to hire disabled applicants or return employees to work following a medically related absence, the agency alleged.

EEOC said that in other cases, Georgia Power automatically disqualified employees and applicants under its seizure policy or its drug and alcohol policy, without individually assessing the employees’ or applicants’ ability to work. The company’s discriminatory policies and practices affected 24 individuals, EEOC said.

Read the EEOC’s announcement of the settlement here.

And here’s a refresher from the EEOC’s web site on the do’s and dont’s under the ADA.

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