Upfront Takeaway:  If the EEOC sues you and you settle, you are likely not only to make a hefty payment, but to be required to be under EEOC oversight for many years.

Can you say “Yes sir?”

The latest company to settle is a manufacturing-tooling company in Indiana which withdrew a conditional job offer to a machinist because a physical exam “referenced a possible vision impairment related to a congenital eye condition. During litigation, the parties’ expert ophthalmologists agreed the applicant had normal vision.”

As the EEOC noted in its press release, “Withdrawing a job offer based on unsubstantiated stereotypical beliefs about a medical condition violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).”

Now the company not only has to pay $35,000, but it has also agreed to a Court order that:

  1. Its HR supervisors and managers, as well as business unit managers must attend a training seminar on disability discrimination.
  2. It will advance and maintain a disability policy.
  3. It will post a notice informing employees that federal law prohibits discrimination.
  4. It must report to the EEOC over a five-year period the instances when it withdraws a job offer based on the results of its post-offer physical examination.
  5. It must “engage in the interactive accommodation process whenever a qualified individual (employee or applicant for employment) with a disability requests a reasonable accommodation and to inform its employees that disability is not a factor to be considered in making any employment decision.”

An EEOC attorney gave the final takeaway:  “The ADA ensures that employment decisions are made on an individual basis, not on preconceived beliefs about a medical condition. It is not only the law; it is common sense.”