Safety and OSHA News

Company to pay $30K to settle suit involving inability to provide urine sample

A trucking company has agreed to pay $30,000 following its withdrawal of a conditional job offer. The applicant wasn’t able to provide a urine sample for a drug test due to a medical condition. 

The settlement is between Covenant Transport Inc., based in Chattanooga, TN, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC had alleged that Covenant discriminated against an applicant for a commercial truck driver position because of his disability.

Covenant had conditionally approved a job offer, pending a license check and drug screening.

The applicant told Covenant he wasn’t able to provide a urine sample due to a medical condition, bladder exstrophy, but he could provide blood for a drug screening.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, bladder exstrophy is a birth defect where the bladder and parts around it form inside-out. As a result, the inside of the bladder pokes outside the belly.

At first, Covenant agreed to the blood screening but later decided not to hire the applicant because of his medical condition and the fact he couldn’t provide a urine specimen.

Failing to make a reasonable accommodation for an applicant’s disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC tried to reach a pre-litigation settlement with Covenant, but the company denied it discriminated against the applicant.

In addition to paying $30,000 in compensatory damages to the applicant, Covenant must develop a written drug testing policy and provide 90 minutes of annual training on that policy to its recruiters and head of safety for the next two years.

Covenant provides specialized transportation services, including hazmat.

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