Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share

PRESS RELEASE
10-27-15

Plasma Biological Services To Pay $60,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Charge

Plasma Center Fired Employee Believed to Have Tested Positive for Viral Marker, Federal Agency Charged

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Plasma Biological Services, LLC and Interstate Blood Bank, Inc., dba Plasma Biological Service, which own and operate plasma collection centers, have agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to EEOC's suit, Plasma Biological Services placed an employee on a deferred donor list after an initial screening for a plasma donation showed a viral marker. After the employee's supervisor learned of his placement on the deferred donor list, the supervisor immediately terminated him. Subsequent tests showed the employee was actually negative for such a viral marker.

Firing an employee because of a perceived disability, or for having a record of disability, violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Plasma Biological Services, LLC and Interstate Blood Bank, Inc. d/b/a Plasma Biological Services, Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-02419) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Besides the $60,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit:

  • enjoins Plasma, its supervisors and managers from failing to hire any applicant or discharging any employee because he or she tests positive for a viral marker;
  • requires Plasma to modify its Standard Operating Policy Manual to state that Plasma does not maintain a policy of refusing to hire applicants or a policy of discharging any employee because he or she tests positive for a viral marker;
  • requires Plasma to maintain separate medical and personnel files;
  • requires Plasma to provide annual disability training for its managers, supervisors, and the president at all of its facilities during the decree's three-year term; and
  • requires notice posting, reporting and monitoring.

"We recently celebrated the ADA's 25th anniversary, and this case reinforces one of its purposes: to ensure that people are not denied work because of real or perceived disabilities," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "We are pleased that this company quickly resolved this matter without protracted litigation - and agreed to policy changes that will ensure this sort of injustice does not recur. The EEOC remains committed to enforcing the ADA vigilantly."

Plasma Biological Services is a Tennessee company with its principal office located in Memphis. The company is engaged in the business of drawing human source plasma and selling it for profit.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.