Exide Technologies will pay $45,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.
Exide Technologies, based in Milton, Georgia, recently agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit originally filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Exide Technologies is a global corporation that sells stored energy components. In addition to the $45,000 the company agreed to pay, it will also provide other relief as part of the settlement agreement.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the discrimination lawsuit against the company over allegations it “violated federal law when it rescinded its job offer to an applicant after it learned that he suffered from a medical condition.” According to the lawsuit, Exide made a conditional job offer to an employee “as a machine operator at its manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ga.” However, when the employee underwent a “post-offer company physical, Exide learned he has chronic kidney disease.” It was then that Exide unlawfully rescinded the job offer over unfounded fears about the employee’s ability to safely perform the machine operator job.
According to the EEOC, Exide’s decision to rescind the job offer violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Before filing the suit, though, the agency attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement, but those efforts failed. In the end, it filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division.
As part of the recent settlement agreement, Exide not only agreed to pay the employee $45,000 in lost wages and compensatory damages, but it is required to “distribute a revised formal, written anti-discrimination policy to all employees at its Columbus facility.” Additionally, the company is also required to “provide annual disability discrimination training to its managers, supervisors, and employees” and Exide must also “post a notice to its employees about the lawsuit and to provide periodic reporting to the EEOC about disability discrimination complaints.”
When commenting on the agreement, Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office said:
“We are pleased Exide has agreed to resolve this matter. An employer cannot refuse to hire a qualified applicant simply because of fears about a disability. Rescinding an applicant’s job offer based on assumptions about the person and his disability violates federal law, and the EEOC will vindicate the rights of victims of such baseless discrimination.”
Darrell E. Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, also chimed in and said:
“Employees with disabilities are contributing members of the workforce and should never be denied the protections bestowed upon them by our federal laws. Employers are not permitted to deny an employment opportunity to a person with a disability based on generalized assumptions.”