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Oncor Sued for Disability Discrimination and Mandatory Medication Disclosure Policy

Every Employee Required to Tell Boss  of Every Medicine That 'Could' Affect Job, Federal Agency Charges

DALLAS - Dallas-based  Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC violated federal law by terminating a data  entry clerk who would not agree to abide by a medication disclosure policy that  oversteps employees' rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today in federal court. The employee was  required to sign a document promising to reveal all medications that "could"  affect her job performance. When she refused, she was sent home and ultimately  received a termination letter in the mail, the EEOC said. 

According  to the EEOC's suit, Delores McCraney, who had been on medical leave for carpal  tunnel syndrome, was confronted with a "Return to Work Agreement" when she reported  back to work. The "agreement," which reflects a companywide policy that every  Oncor employee must follow, required that the employee report to her supervisor  each and every medication she is taking, over the counter and prescribed, that  "could" affect her work performance.  McCraney felt that requiring her to sign such  an agreement was a violation of her rights. In addition to requiring  that all such medications be disclosed to management, all Oncor employees can  only take the medication if the supervisor "clears" it first.

Such alleged conduct violates the  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on  disability in the workplace. The EEOC investigated the case and then filed suit  in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Civil  Action No. 3:18-CV-01786-C, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation  settlement through its conciliation process. In this case, the EEOC seeks back  pay, plus compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief,  including an order barring similar violations in the future.

 "Before the ADA  was enacted decades ago, employees could be asked any medical question at all,  and then be fired for the response if the company simply didn't want a person  with even a possible disability on board," said EEOC Trial Attorney Toby Wosk  Costas. "That was then, this is now. Congress told the nation, in enacting the  ADA, that employees are protected from this kind of medical inquiry since it  can reveal a hidden disability that there is simply no need to disclose."

Robert  A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC's Dallas District Office, added, "Blanket  requirements of disclosure like the one presented here result in unlawful  overreaching, eliciting information about an employee's disabilities that may  not otherwise be disclosed. By so broadly inventorying and examining  medications, an employer ignores prohibitions in the federal law against  eliciting information about a worker's health."

The EEOC's  Dallas District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination,  administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Texas and  parts of New Mexico.

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