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EEOC charges Celadon with discrimination

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Celadon Group Inc., charging that the Indianapolis-based trucking firm discriminated against candidates with disabilities who applied for driving jobs.

The EEOC claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Celadon subjected job applicants to medical exams and failed to hire qualified truck-driving candidates because of disabilities, or perceived ones.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer cannot conduct a medical examination of a job candidate until the employer has given the applicant a job offer conditioned upon passing the exam, Laurie Young, regional attorney for the Indianapolis office of the EEOC, said in a prepared statement.

But the agency says Celadon conducted medical exams to reject candidates before making job offers, which violates U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

The EEOC charges that Celadon has been violating ADA requirements since 2009.

Celadon CEO Steve Russell denied wrongdoing and said the company is abiding by Department of Transportation regulations.

“The reality is, if you hire a driver and then give them a physical, that’s crazy,” Russell said Thursday morning. “If you talk to the [Department of Transportation], they will say they don’t understand what the EEOC is trying to do.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday morning.

The suit alleges Celadon rejected at least 16 job applicants for truck-driving positions and cited four specific instances, three of which included applicants with hearing impairments and another suffering from deep venous thrombosis who was taking a blood thinner to treat the condition.

Medical exams given by Celadon included vision and hearing screenings, blood and urine tests, blood-pressure checks and other cardiovascular exams, as well as requests for medical histories and lists of prescribed medications, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC is seeking monetary damages on behalf of the applicants in addition to a permanent injunction barring the company from engaging in further employment practices that violate the ADA.

Celadon has 3,500 employees, including more than 2,400 drivers.
 

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  • Fine Example
    Having had to deal with the EEOC before since our firm has government contracts, this is just another fine example of how the EEOC is out of touch with common sense and reality. Why would you hire someone only to have to fire them if they don't pass a physical? It only makes sense to have them pass the physical first. Our beloved government at work.
  • Hire the Blind
    It is unbelievable that the Department of Transportation would mandate the physical exams and the EEOC would sue for doing them. "Bonehead" must be a disability. That's the only way some of the "leaders" at the EEOC could have been hired.
  • Irony
    The irony is that in order to acquire or renew a CDL Class 8 license (big rigs), you have to have yearly medical exams and always carry a medical card with you.
  • PASS THE PHYSICAL!
    It's that simple. If you can't pass the physical, then you have no business driving a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle). That's small trucks, big rigs like Celadon, School buses, motor coaches, you name it. One area of Big Government intrusiveness that IMNSHO isn't deep enough.
  • Really?
    Good for Russell. Shame on the EEOC. Is it now a crime to want healthy people to drive large trucks? Thanks Russell - keep up the good screening.
  • I agree with Celadon
    I don't want someone to be hired to drive a big rig that can't hear or may have a stroke behind a several ton missle going down the highway. It's a waste of company money to offer a job and then have a physical. Seems like they're acting in the best interest of the public, to me.

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