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INDIANAPOLIS—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has accused an Indianapolis-based trucking company of illegally forcing job applicants to undergo medical examinations and refusing to hire those shown to have a disability.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis on behalf of at least 17 individuals, the EEOC alleges Indianapolis-based Celadon Trucking Services Inc. required potential drivers to submit to medical exams prior to receiving conditional offers of employment, in violation of federal transportation rules.
The exams included vision and hearing screenings, blood and urine tests, blood pressure and other cardiovascular trials, and requests for the applicants' medical and prescription histories, all in violation of federal transportation laws, according to the EEOC's complaint.
Additionally, the suit alleges that Celadon used the results of the exams to reject “qualified applicants” that the company believed to be disabled, a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit alleges individuals were rejected for driving jobs because of perceived hearing disabilities, heart conditions and other maladies, despite meeting federal transportation codes for driver eligibility.
“Celadon and all motor carriers must conduct medical examinations in accordance with the ADA,” said Laurie Young, regional attorney for the Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC. “Under the ADA, an employer cannot conduct a medical examination of a job applicant until the employer has given the applicant a job offer conditioned upon the applicant passing the examination.”
Representatives of Celadon could not immediately be reached for comment.
The EEOC is seeking a permanent injunction against Celadon as well as an undetermined amount in compounded back pay and compensatory damages on behalf of the rejected applicants.