Producer, Contractor Employees Leverage ADA Accommodations

Alleging discrimination against employees protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against Wichita, Texas-based ready mixed producer OK Concrete and settled a case with Baker Concrete Construction, Houston. The agency contends OK Concrete broke federal law by terminating a mixer truck driver candidate who, after completing training in March 2012, informed the producer of time off needs once his health insurance coverage became effective—owing to planned treatment for prostate cancer detected two months prior. EEOC charges that a decision to fire the driver was based on disability discrimination, violating the ADA. Following a pre-litigation settlement attempt, the agency has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, plus injunctive relief.


As the EEOC Dallas District Office presses the OK Concrete case, Houston District Office staff report that Baker Concrete will pay $58,000 and provide injunctive relief to settle a suit alleging failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a payroll manager claiming asthma as a disability. The contractor terminated the nine-year employee who, EEOC notes, sought to work at home “for a period following a bad reaction to chemical dust in the workplace.” Human resources staff informed the payroll manager she could no longer perform her job and would continue having breathing problems upon return to the office, housed in an old building. The employer’s alleged conduct, EEOC contends, violates Title I of ADA, requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations unless to do so would impose an undue hardship.