As we have frequently discussed in this Broward County Employment Law Blog, it is illegal for employers to make employment decisions on the basis of discrimination. Among the types of discrimination that are outlawed is disability discrimination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees as well as job applicants who are disabled, are regarded as disabled or have a record of disability.
Just this week the Miami District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against a company in Clear water, Florida.
The company, a designer and manufacturer of molds for plastics, has been accused of firing a worker because it regarded him as disabled.
The company reportedly made workers undergo medical screenings after they were issued job offers. The man in this case passed his medical exam, which showed no signs that he would have any physical limitations to his ability to perform work as a process engineer at the company. Nonetheless, the employer asked the man to provide a medical release about a successful back surgery that he underwent six years earlier.
The man was ultimately fired, after two months of working for the company without incident, because he did not provide the release.
The EEOC has asserted that under the ADA employers cannot ask some employees to turn over medical documentation for expired medical conditions.
The EEOC is seeking back pay for the worker as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Additionally, it is asking that the company change its medical examination policies among other things. These are examples of the restitution that can be sought after a worker is wrongfully terminated due to disability discrimination.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “EEOC Sues American Tool & Mold for Disability Bias Against Worker,” Dec. 10, 2012
- More information about workplace discrimination and wrongful termination is available on our South Florida law firm’s Employment Law page.