July 29, 2020

Even Unions Get it Wrong

The U.S. EEOC recently announced the settlement of a case that found that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The CBA permitted the employer to pay its drivers who were transferred to another job as a result of medical reasons, including a disability, 10% less than those who were transferred for non-medical reasons.  Get this – the latter included if an employee was transferred as a result of a DWI!

The EEOC initially obtained an order from the judge finding the CBA violated the ADA. The employer and the union then entered into a new CBA that eliminated the unlawful, disparate pay clause. The judge has now approved a settlement of $75,000 for wage and non-wage damages to one employee who was impacted by the policy.

The EEOC reminds employees, employers and unions, “Employers need to know that disparate treatment of qualified, disabled workers – whether because of a company’s policy or a collective bargaining agreement – is prohibited under the ADA.”

NOTE: This is the third disability-based settlement  announced by the EEOC in two days. This one is chicken scratch compared to the other two at $200,000 and  $2.5 million! Ensure your employment practices, as well as policies do not discriminate based on present, past, or perceived disability (or association) and provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with a disability.