Employer Settles Suit Over Job Offer Withdrawn Due to Eye Condition

March 13, 2017

An Indiana based company has agreed to pay $35,000 and furnish other relief to settle allegations that the manufacturing-tooling company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it withdrew a job offer it had extended to an experienced and qualified machinist.

Upon completion of an interview for a machinist position, Employer made a job offer conditioned on the applicant passing a physical examination. Employer withdrew the job offer because the exam report referenced a possible vision impairment related to a congenital eye condition.

The parties' expert ophthalmologists agreed that the applicant had normal vision. Withdrawing a job offer based on unsubstantiated stereotypical beliefs about a medical condition violates the ADA.

The court approved a consent decree under which, in addition to the monetary relief, Employer will require its HR supervisors, managers, and business unit managers to attend a training seminar on disability discrimination; advance and maintain a disability policy; post a notice informing employees that federal law prohibits discrimination; and report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over a five-year period any instances where it withdraws a job offer based on the results of its post-offer physical examination. The decree also requires Employer to 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.