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Beware of regarding applicant as disabled

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Do you sometimes have preconceived notions based on uninformed assumptions about a worker’s or a job candidate’s ability to do the job? Beware!

That would be discrimination against a person who is regarded as disabled and it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Case in point: An applicant received a job offer for a maintenance mechanic position in a steel factory in Tennessee.

When the applicant began his pre-employment physical examination, the employer learned that he took prescription drugs for an anxiety disorder and for high blood pressure. The employer immediately sent the applicant to his primary care physician (PCP) to obtain clearance.

The PCP stated that the applicant “should” be able to perform the job functions. The employer did not accept this statement, but instead rescinded the job offer without ever allowing the applicant to undergo a physical examination.

The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­­tunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit on the applicant’s behalf, accusing the employer of regarding the applicant as a disabled individual incapable of doing the job. (EEOC v. Hoeganaes)

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