Birmingham EEOC Office Files Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination and Genetic Information Discrimination

In September, the Birmingham, Alabama office of the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Dollar General alleging the company violated federal law when it rescinded job offers to applicants whose medical examinations revealed they had disabilities. These examinations also unlawfully solicited family medical history from such job applicants, a form of genetic information.

The employment discrimination lawsuit alleges that an individual applied and received a job offer for a position at a Dollar General Distribution Center in Bessemer, Alabama.   The job offer required that the individual successfully complete the company’s medical examination. When the examination revealed that the applicant suffered from a visual disability, he was not allowed to work at Dollar General.

The EEOC alleges that the company imposed additional medical standards that tended to screen out individuals with disabilities.  The standards were used to discriminate because they screened out applicants with a variety of conditions even when those impairments would not prevent the applicant from safely performing the job. Applicants were also asked to provide detailed information about their family medical history, including answering questions about family incidences of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees and applicants from discrimination because of their disabilities. This law prohibits employers from using selection criteria or qualifications that eliminate individuals with disabilities, where the standards are not job-related or consistent with business necessity. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects employees or job applicants from discrimination based on genetic information. GINA includes a strict prohibition on soliciting a job applicant or employee’s family medical history.

Beckum Law represents individuals with claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout the State of Alabama.  We offer a free consultation to any Alabama resident who believes they have been discriminated against in their employment.  Please contact us today at (205) 588-0699 or at wbeckum@beckumlaw.com.

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