Do you need naturally perfect eyesight to work at a Dollar General warehouse? What about low blood pressure?
Well, up until the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against them in 2017, the discount variety store required applicants to their Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse to take an invasive medical exam and then rescinded job offers to applicants that did not “pass,” including “applicants whose blood pressure exceeded 160/100 or who had less than 20/50 vision in one eye, even when those impairments did not prevent the applicants from safely performing the job.”
That, according to the EEOC, is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and now Dollar General is coughing up $1 million to settle the suit.
According to the lawsuit, the medical examination included the “taking of vital signs, the completion of a drug test, a vision test, a medical and health history questionnaire, a review of current medications, and a physical examination, including, in some instances, genital examination of job applicants.”
It is hard to imagine what job, other than “porn star,” a genital examination might be necessary for, but God help us all if it’s “working at a Dollar General warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.”
The EEOC says the company also violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) by asking prospective employees about their family medical history, such as whether their parents or grandparents had “cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.”
“Requiring individuals during the hiring process to answer invasive questions about medical conditions of their grandparents, parents or children violates GINA,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director Bradley Anderson. “An employer is prohibited from soliciting this information, regardless of whether the information is used to deny employment.”
In addition to the monetary settlement, Dollar General will have to make some changes to its hiring process:
Under the 27-month consent decree settling the suit, in addition to monetary relief, Dollar General must review and revise its ADA and GINA policies and distribute them to all individuals involved in the hiring process should they resume requiring medical exams. In addition, Dollar General must require their medical examiners not to request family medical history; must consider the medical opinion of an applicant’s personal physician; and must inform applicants how to request a reasonable accommodation if needed. The decree also requires Dollar General to provide annual training to all individuals involved in the hiring process on the ADA and GINA and to post a notice to employees on their rights under these statutes and how to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
Also, we hope, no genital exams.