A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack. A laborer who installed conveyer belts for Baldwin Supply suffered a heart attack in July 2011. On Aug. 8, 2011, his doctor released him to return to work with no restrictions. According to the EEOC, the company only allowed him to work two days before it stopped calling him into work.
The EEOC contends the man repeatedly attempted to contact Baldwin Supply, but managers simply refused to return his calls. Eventually, the man filed a disability discrimination complaint with the EEOC, claiming the company violated the ADA by regarding him as disabled when he was not.
Efforts to resolve the dispute through the commission’s conciliation program failed and the EEOC has now filed suit on the man’s behalf, seeking back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
Barring a settlement, the case will go to court.
Note: Don’t try to play doctor. If a physician clears an employee to work, your only recourse as an employer is to pay for another doctor’s second opinion. Courts will only recognize medical opinions from medical professionals.