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EEOC settles bipolar worker's disability discrimination lawsuit

EEOC settles bipolar worker's disability discrimination lawsuit

A concrete manufacturer has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which it was charged with firing an employee who took medication for her bipolar disorder.

The EEOC said Friday that Dayton, Ohio-based Dayton Superior Corp., which manufactures concrete and masonry construction products, unlawfully fired Chassity Brady, a quality control lab technician in its Braselton, Ga., facility, in August 2011 for taking medication that had been prescribed by her doctor for her bipolar disorder.

The EEOC said in its statement that after Ms. Brady suffered an adverse reaction to the medication, the employer required her to submit to a drug test. Ms. Brady was immediately fired after its results were revealed, although the only substances found in her system were the medications prescribed to treat her disability.

“The EEOC filed this case because the evidence indicated Ms. Brady was terminated because her disability required her to take medication,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta district office, in a statement. “Making employment decisions on the basis of stereotypical assumptions about disability-based medications is one of the problems the (Americans with Disabilities Act) was designed to combat.”

A Dayton Superior spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

In its final regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the EEOC said bipolar disorder is among the impairments that should easily be concluded to be a disability.