EEOC Files Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

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A consultation with an experienced Costa Mesa employment lawyer could help you decide if you have been illegally discriminated against by an employer because of a disability.

According to a report on the lawsuit, Wal-Mart violated federal law after refusing to hire a prospective employee who suffers from renal disease and required “reasonable accommodation” to perform during the application process.

The lawsuit originated from a claim that the woman was unable to produce an adequate urine sample during drug testing due to her condition.

The drug testing company provided the woman with alternative options for testing (at the advice of the hiring manager), but stated that the manager of the Wal-Mart location at which she was applying would have to order the alternative test directly.

When the prospective employee relayed this information to the manager, she was told Wal-Mart could not hire her because she could not provide a “urine” sample.

The prospective employee’s application and file were closed following this incident for failure to complete a urinalysis within 24-hours as required by Wal-Mart’s hiring process.

Though this lawsuit was filed in another state, many of the EEOC’s provisions and U.S. laws apply to California employers and employees as well.

Under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), California employers must provide reasonable accommodation to both prospective and current employees, unless the employer can prove that such accommodation is an undue hardship for the business. Its important to highlight that an employer can be guilty of discriminating against even a prospective employee.

Employers also cannot refuse to hire a prospective employee due to their having a preexisting disability.

After failing to reach a settlement under the EEOC’s conciliation process, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Maryland that holds jurisdiction for the case.

This lawsuit highlights an increasing problem with employers accepting alternative drug tests for applicants who are unable to provide urine samples.

In the last year alone, the EEOC has filed two other lawsuits for the same reason.

Ultimately, under the terms of the ADA, reasonable accommodation should include measures to obtain drug tests without relying solely on urinalysis. Incidents like this one only stand to hurt an otherwise capable workforce, which is crucial to California workplaces.

As one attorney noted, in the case of the Wal-Mart incident, the applicant obviously met the requirements for the position as she was offered it, therefore, Wal-Mart lost the opportunity to employ a well-qualified individual based on their alleged discrimination and unwillingness to provide reasonable accommodation.

Costa Mesa employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.

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