Posted On: February 11, 2011 by Peter M. LaSorsa

EEOC Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit With Hussey Copper For $85,000

Hussey Copper settled its American With Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $85,000. According to published accounts Hussey Copper refused to hire a job applicant because of his record of a disability and because they regarded him as disabled. Apparently Donald Teaford applied for a job as a production laborer and was offered the job but later Hussey Copper rescinded the job offer based on his disability.

Like most companies the job offer required Teaford to pass a physical examination. As a result of the post-job offer examination, the company’s doctor learned that Teaford was receiving methadone as part of a clinically supervised chemical dependency treatment program--normally given to heroin addicts. The company then rescinded the job offer, mistakenly concluding that Teaford was a safety risk due to his methadone treatments. Teaford was qualified for the position, was not experiencing adverse side effects from the methadone treatments, and the treatment program provided the company’s doctor with information verifying Teaford’s successful and compliant participation in the program.

“Methadone treatment is one of the most monitored and regulated medical treatments in the United States,” said EEOC attorney Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. “This case should remind all employers that the ADA requires employers to make individualized assessments about an individual’s ability to do the job instead of acting out of speculative fears or biases.”

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