Trucking Company’s Broad Policy Requiring Medical Disclosures Violates ADA, Federal Agency Charges
DETROIT – Arkansas-based P.A.M. Transport, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. (PTSI), has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for disability discrimination, the agency announced today. The agency charged the company with unlawfully discharging an employee, who is a Kalamazoo, Mich., resident, after learning he was HIV-positive.
The EEOC’s lawsuit (EEOC v. P.A.M. Transport Inc., Case No. 2:09CV13851) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, charged that P.A.M. Transport refused to allow the driver to return to work once he notified the company he was HIV-positive. P.A.M. requires all drivers to notify the company whenever any treatment is received from a medical professional. Because of this policy, the employee informed P.A.M. he had a routine appointment to monitor his HIV-positive status. The EEOC said that when the information was disclosed to the company, it required the driver to provide a full release of his medical records and refused to allow him to return to work.
The Commission’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of the individual employee, as well as a class of drivers who were also subjected to medical inquiries under the company’s broad policy.
“Discharging an employee after learning he is HIV-positive without determining whether he can continue to perform his job violates the Americans With Disabilities Act,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. “Such a broad policy imposes disability-related inquiries that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity and therefore, violates the ADA.”
The suit seeks to recover monetary damages for the employee and a class of drivers, including back pay, compensation for emotional distress and punitive damages. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
According to company information, P.A.M. Transport, Inc. (www.pamtransport.com ) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of P.A.M. Transportation Services, Inc. (PTSI) (www.pamt.com), a transportation holding company, both headquartered in Tontitown, Ark. PTSI conducts its truckload carrier operations through its wholly-owned subsidiaries: P.A.M. Transport, Inc.; P.A.M. Dedicated Services, Inc.; P.A.M. Special Services, Inc.; P.A.M. Logistics Services, Inc.; Choctaw Express, Inc.; Choctaw Brokerage, Inc.; Allen Freight Services, Inc.; Decker Transport Co., Inc.; McNeill Express, Inc.; and East Coast Transport & Logistics, Inc.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.