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May 8 2019

Trucking Company Used Post-Offer Screen that Screened-Out Applicants on the Basis of Disability

National trucking company JBS Carriers, Inc. will pay $250,000 and furnish other significant relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, JBS Carriers contracted with a third party, ErgoMed Work Systems, Inc., to administer Pre-employment screening of applicants for truck driving jobs. The EEOC alleged that this process unlawfully screened out people with disabilities who were qualified for the truck driving jobs they sought. The screening subjected all applicants to a medical history questionnaire, a physical examination, and nine physical abilities tests. If an applicant failed any one of the tests or was prevented by ErgoMed from taking the tests based on information obtained from the questionnaire or during the physical examination, ErgoMed sent JBS Carriers a negative job recommendation. The lawsuit alleged that JBS Carriers then withdrew conditional job offers to applicants based on ErgoMed's recommendations.

For example, the EEOC alleged in its suit that one applicant, Cindy Divine, had over 30 years of commercial truck driving experience. After JBS Carriers offered her a job, Divine traveled to Greeley, Colo. to complete the screening. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, ErgoMed concluded that she had disqualifying issues with her shoulders, even though Divine told ErgoMed's examiner that she was only sore from carrying heavy luggage from the bus stop to her motel. ErgoMed prevented Divine from completing its physical tests and provided a negative recommendation to JBS Carriers, which then withdrew her job offer.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and makes it illegal for employers to impose standards or criteria for job applicants that have the effect of discriminating based on disability or that screen out individuals with disabilities.