The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a new lawsuit. It alleges that an employer wrongfully concluded that an applicant with a visual impairment posed an unacceptable safety risk.
The defendant in the suit is Hiland Dairy Foods. The agency describes it as a Missouri-based producer and distributor of dairy products.
The suit was filed in a federal district court in Oklahoma. It says the employer interviewed an applicant with a visual impairment to work at a plant in Norman, Oklahoma.
The agency says the employer toured the plant with the applicant and knew about his visual impairment when it extended a conditional job offer that was dependent on the results of a pre-employment medical examination.
Without even examining the applicant, a physician concluded that the applicant was not qualified for the job because he presented a “safety concern.”
As a result, the employer pulled the job offer.
The suit says the employer’s conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Neither it nor the physician ever considered whether any reasonable accommodation could have alleviated any safety concerns, it alleges.
The employer violated the statute by refusing to hire the applicant due to his visual impairment and because he needed a reasonable accommodation.
The suit is seeking monetary relief as well as an order requiring the employer to give the applicant the job.