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PRESS RELEASE
10-18-18

SMS Group to Pay up to $62,000 to Resolve EEOC Discrimination Finding

SMS Group Must Refrain from Requesting or  Requiring Disclosure of Genetic Information

  INDIANAPOLIS - SMS Group Inc., formerly known as SMS  Technical Services, LLC and SMS Millcraft LLC, headquartered in Cranberry  Township Pennsylvania has agreed to resolve a disability and genetic  information non-discrimination charge filed by the Indianapolis District  Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  

An EEOC investigation found reasonable  cause to believe that the SMS Gary, Indiana, facility contracted with a third-party  medical provider to conduct post offer medical and fitness for duty  examinations. Job applicants and employees were asked to complete occupational  health questionnaires that required the disclosure of family medical history including parents and  siblings' history with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Such alleged conduct violates the  Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), which protects individuals  against employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information,  including family medical history. GINA also prohibits employers from  requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information about applicants or  employees, except in very narrow circumstances which do not apply in this case.

The three-year conciliation agreement  provides up to $62,000 in monetary relief to applicants and employees who were  required to disclose their family medical history on the occupation health forms  during the medical examinations. The conciliation agreement prohibits SMS Group  from violating GINA and engaging in unlawful retaliation. SMS must refrain from  inquiring directly or indirectly about genetic information of an applicant, an  applicant's family member, employee, or an employee's family member except as  permitted by GINA. In addition, SMS Group agreed to non-monetary relief in the  form of policy changes. The company will provide training on GINA to management  and human resources personnel and post employee notices. The conciliation  agreement also provides for EEOC to monitor the company's compliance with reporting  provisions.

Requiring an applicant or employee to  answer questions about his or her family medical history, even when part of an otherwise  permissible employment-related medical exam, violates federal law. Employers need  to review all employment-related procedures and forms periodically to ensure  legal compliance. We commend SMS Group for their willingness to resolve this  matter in a comprehensive way," said EEOC Indianapolis District Director Michelle  Eisele.

The EEOC advances opportunity in  the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email  updates.