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Press Release 12-11-2020

School City of Hammond to Pay $70,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability and Age Discrimination Finding

School Disadvantaged Older Workers and Those With Disabilities or Who Failed Medical Exams, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS – The School City of Hammond, located in Hammond, Ind., will pay up to $70,000 and furnish other relief to resolve a disability and age discrimination charge by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC’s investigation found reasonable cause to believe that the School City of Hammond subjected employees to impermissibly broad and comprehensive medical exams after absences of seven days. For at least one employee who was given this test and failed, the school did not consider any rea­son­able accommodations. Additional evidence showed that applicants were subjected to pre-employ­ment medical screens called Pre-Work Screen exams. Also, evidence showed that the school com­mingled medical information in personnel files. These actions were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC’s investigation also found reasonable cause to believe that the school treated substantially younger employees more favorably than at least one older employee when it allowed younger employees to return to work after they failed the return to work physical examination. The older employee was required to retire or retake the physical exam. These actions were in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

The school chose to voluntarily resolve the matter with the EEOC, without an admission of liability, to avoid an extended dispute.

The conciliation agreement provides relief to individuals subjected to the pre-employment medical screens and to the person who filed a charge with the EEOC. The agreement also calls for the school to provide additional written guidance and training to employees involved in the pre-employ­ment, post-conditional offer medical exam process, along with training on the ADA and ADEA to the appropriate staff.

“We appreciate the willingness of the School City of Hammond to resolve this charge in a way that educates other employers about the requirements of the ADA and the ADEA,” 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 Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.