Two companies were accused of discriminating against truckers with disabilities

September 28, 20210

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a case against companies that violated federal disability discrimination law.

Atlanta-based Pilot Freight Services fired its manager due to his cancer. Pilot has its own fleet of 277 vehicles and 255 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration. It’s a global transportation and logistics provider with 96 offices in North America.

Two years ago, Thomas Hunt told his Pilot Freight Services manager that he needed to take time off from work to get biopsy results.

«About 10 days later Hunt was fired, allegedly due to layoffs. The company argued that Hunt was fired for another reason – a short working period. However, in the months before and after Hunt’s dismissal, the company hired several employees who were not fired due to a shorter working period, and hired an employee in a position very similar to the one that Hunt had held earlier and with a higher salary.»

The EEOC requires the company to pay Hunt back wages as well as compensation.

In another lawsuit, the Commission argued that Dallas-based Stevens Transport didn’t recruit the candidate on the basis of his hypertension, considering that he was disabled.

Stevens Transport is the largest refrigerated trucking company in North America. The company operates 1937 trucks and employs 2458 employees.

«Employers can’t make inquiries related to disabilities before a job offer is made,» Megan Quelbs, an EEOC employee in Dallas, said in a statement. «If such information is obtained during the application process, the Americans with Disabilities Act will prohibit the exclusion of a candidate simply because of his disability status.»

According to the lawsuit, the applicant lodged his application with Stevens Transport in August 2019. During the interview, the applicant was asked whether the pause in his work was related to his health.

«This question prompted the applicant to disclose that he was diagnosed with hypertension in his previous job and therefore required a sick leave. The EEOC’s claim alleges that Stevens Transport didn’t hire him because he disclosed the reason for his previous sick leave during an interview,» EEOC said.

The Commission requires Stevens Transport to pay all wage arrears, as well as compensations and fines connected with violation of the law.


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