Foodworks pays $25,000 settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) after initial settlement talks failed. According to published accounts, Foodworks asked disability-related questions of a class of applicants before offering them jobs. Under the law you are not allowed to ask these types of questions during a job interview. The questions included “Do you have any health problems?” and “Do you take any medications?” It is hard to believe that the company didn’t have better counsel regarding what they could or couldn’t ask during an interview.
It was also alleged that when an employee with epilepsy had a seizure at work, Foodworks fired the employee a few days after the seizure. This despite the employee having performed his job successfully and presenting medical documentation indicating he was capable of returning to his normal work day. This type of activity is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA“). It is never a good idea to have your human resource department so clueless about the laws regarding what can be asked during an interview.
“This settlement should remind employers that the ADA prohibits employers from asking applicants disability-related inquiries before offering them jobs.” said EEOC attorney Kevin Berry.