U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Battery Manufacturer Rescinded its Job Offer Based on Unfounded Fears of Safety, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - Exide Technologies, a global corporation headquartered in Milton, Ga., that manufactures, distributes and sells stored energy components, violated federal law when it rescinded its job offer to an applicant after it learned that he suffered from a medical condition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, on May 12, 2015, Exide made Gregory Greene a conditional job offer as a machine operator at its manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ga. When Greene went for a post-offer company physical, Exide learned he has chronic kidney disease. As a result of unfounded fears about his ability to perform the job safely, Exide unlawfully rescinded its job offer to Greene three days later, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Exide Technologies Inc., Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-00229-CDL) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking reinstatement, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Greene, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination.
"An employer cannot refuse to hire a qualified applicant simply because of fears about a disability," said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "The employer is required to first do an independent analysis about whether the employee's disability poses a direct threat of harm to himself or others. Rescinding a disabled applicant's job offer based on assumptions about the person and his disability violates federal law, and the EEOC is here for the rights of victims of such baseless discrimination."
Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director of the Atlanta office, said, "The EEOC is committed to stopping workplace disability discrimination in Georgia and across the country. Under the ADA, employers are not permitted to deny an employment opportunity to a person with a disability based on generalized fears and assumptions."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.