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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Texas Man Wins Disability Discrimination Settlement

By Dan Atkerson on May 08, 2015

A Texas man will receive a $59,000 settlement from his former employer, Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (H&P) after a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demonstrated that the man had suffered disability discrimination in the workplace

The employee worked as a derrick hand at the company’s Alice, Texas location. He suffered from a degenerative disc condition that caused chronic pain in his back and spine, and he had been prescribed medication to treat it.

The lawsuit alleged that the company unlawfully required all employees to disclose any drugs, prescription or over-the-counter, that they were taking to management. The company also allegedly performed unlawful medical exams and engaged in disability-related inquiries against the employees.

Despite the fact that doctors had deemed the man fit to return to work, he lost his job and promptly filed the suit.

Conduct such as this violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which dictates the employers are not allowed to inquire about the nature or severity of an employee’s disability. Additionally, asking what prescriptions employees take violates the act.

If you have been wrongfully terminated due to the medications you take or a disability you have, you should know that employers have an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. Speak with an employment law attorney to discuss whether you might have a disability discrimination case against your employer.

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