Another settlement of an ADA lawsuit against a medical facility is in the EEOC news today. This one is interesting.
On May 8, 2013, we reported on a EEOC suit just filed against a Fort Worth rehab center alleging that it made a job offer to a certified nurse assistant, contingent upon passing a drug screen, which included a urine test. The applicant said that because her kidneys were removed several years before after a failed transplant, she was rendering unable to produce concentrated urine for purposes of a drug screen. She requested a reasonable accommodation, i.e., a different type of drug test, which request was rejected, and her offer of employment revoked.
According to the EEOC, there was no “undue burden” to administer another test since one or more were available. “This employer could have accommodated [the applicant’s] disability in several different ways. For example, blood or hair screens are drug tests that do not require a urinalysis.”
No surprise: The EEOC has just announced a settlement of the case: $50,000 (and the standard “other relief”).
One EEOC lawyer said that “It is ultimately better for employers and applicants if the selection process does not rule out qualified people with physical impairments simply because of testing techniques that create artificial barriers to an otherwise positive pairing of a worker and a workplace.”
A second EEOC lawyer said that “alternate forms of drug testing must be made available to applicants and employees who are unable to provide urine samples because of a disability.”