The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed charges against Celadon Inc. alleging it unlawfully subjected driver applicants to medical screenings and rejected them because of disabilities or perceived disabilities.
On Feb. 29, the commission filed a complaint in Indianapolis’ federal district court stating the truckload carrier performed medical examinations on applicants before making conditional employment offers. The company’s exams were inconsistent with U.S. Department of Transportation standards, but still used to disqualify applicants Celadon considered disabled, EEOC alleges.
The medical screenings included vision, hearing, blood, urine, blood pressure and requests for applicants’ list of prescriptions and medical histories. The lawsuit names 17 applicants and includes applicants hurt by the carrier’s practices, which the commission states date back more than three years.
The commission seeks compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction to prevent Celadon from future noncompliant American with Disabilities Act practices. EEOC says it attempted to settle with the 3,300-truck carrier before going to court.
Paul Will, Celadon president and chief operating officer, said the Indianapolis-based company only rejected drivers who didn’t meet DOT standards. “There’s a driver shortage,” Will told the Associated Press. “There’s no reason we would not hire a driver.” Will said Celadon hires about 60 to 65 drivers every week.