An EEOC disability discrimination suit against Hibbing Taconite seems likely headed for trial after a federal district court judge refused to dismiss charges against the Mesabi Iron Range mining firm.
The case involves James Edstrom, a hearing-impaired job applicant with years of mining experience. Edstrom applied for five different positions with Hibbing Taconite, three in its plant and two in its mine.
The EEOC complaint alleges the company refused to hire him because of his hearing impairment. Following a Hibbing Taconite motion, the judge agreed to dismiss charges relating to the plant positions, but allowed those related to the mining positions to go forward.
Edstrom had worked successfully in a mine for another company for many years despite his hearing problems. The judge said that provided “ample evidence” of Edstrom’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions.
Note: Know how other firms in your industry accommodate disabled workers. One company’s accommodation can set the industry standard.