Company Made Unlawful Medical Inquiries And Engaged In Retaliation, Federal Agency Charged
PITTSBURGH - Erie Strayer Company, a concrete product and services company, located in Erie, Penn. will pay $15,000 and provide substantial injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced. U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer entered a consent order on June 16, 2015, resolving the case.
The EEOC alleged Erie Strayer Company subjected Thomas Young and other employees to unlawful medical inquiries and adverse employment actions resulting from such inquiries including coercion, intimidation, threats, and retaliation for refusing to comply with Strayer's inquiries.
Strayer's alleged conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects employees from discrimination based on their actual or perceived disabilities. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Erie Strayer Company, and the International Association of Bridge Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local Union No. 468 ; Case 1:14-cv-00199-NBF) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"Requiring employees to reveal the specific nature of their medical illness in order to deem the use of sick leave an excused absence is an unlawful disability-related inquiry under the ADA not justified by business necessity," said Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and portions of New Jersey and Ohio. "Employees should not have to worry that their private and potentially harmful information will be used against them later to unfairly exclude them from jobs they could otherwise perform."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.