Phoenix Staffing Agency Subjected Applicants to Invasive Pre-Offer Medical Questionnaire And Screened Applicants on the Basis of Their Responses, Federal Agency Charges
PHOENIX - All Star Priority Staffing, LLC, a Phoenix staffing agency, violated federal law by forcing applicants seeking temporary employment to fill out an invasive medical questionnaire and answer medical questions before job offers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed last week. The federal agency also charged the company with denying job opportunities to applicants based on their answers.
According to the EEOC's suit, All Star's application process required applicants to fill out a medical questionnaire that inquired into, among other things, the applicant's use of medications, history of illnesses, and whether the applicant has or had any current or previous injuries to various parts of the body. The EEOC further charged that All Star asked medical questions during the pre-offer interviews and then used the medical information obtained as the basis of denying employment opportunities.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination, including making pre-offer medical inquiries. The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. All Star Priority Staffing, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-03127-DLR, in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.
"In today's economic climate, a sizable percentage of the workforce relies on staffing agencies such as All Star to find employment," said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill. "This reality led the EEOC to place an emphasis on protecting the civil rights of temporary workers and applicants. This case demonstrates the EEOC's commitment to protecting those workers."
Elizabeth Cadle, the EEOC's Phoenix District Office director, added, "Pre-offer medical questioning can have the effect of chilling individuals from applying for employment. The EEOC will continue to fight to protect applicants from being exposed to illegal medical questioning."
The EEOC's Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque).
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.
source: EEOC press release