Employment Lawsuits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the primary federal enforcement agency for GINA.  Below you will find recent statistics and case examples of the agency’s enforcement activities.

EEOC Enforcement Statistics:  201 complaints filed in 2010, 245 in 2011 and 280 in 2012

Case Examples:

1)

Pamela Fink and MXenergy-  Connecticut woman claimed she was fired despite years of glowing reports by her employer after she told them she had tested positive for the breast cancer gene and would undergo a double mastecomy as a preventative measure. Claim was settled out of court with a non-disclosure agreement.

See: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/OnCallPlusBreastCancerNews/pamela-fink-fired-testing-positive-breast-cancer-gene/story?id=10510163

2)

EEOC v. Nestle-   Employee alleged that Nestle required him to complete a “fitness-for-duty” medical examination, that the medical examination included collection of his family medical history, and that his employer terminated his employment within one month of the medical examination. EEOC issued a subpoena directing Nestle to disclose company documents showing employment decisions involving any employee or other person who, at Nestle’s request, was subjected to a medical examination including hiring and firing decisions with respect to such individuals. Nestle refused and the EEOC petitioned to enforce the subpoena.

Court rejected the petition, holding that the information the EEOC sought to obtain was “irrelevant to the charge being investigated.”

2012 WL 1888130 (E.D. Kentucky, 2012)

See: http://www.eeac.org/briefs/EEOCvNestlePreparedFoods.pdf

3)

EEOC v Fabricut-  Employee worked for Fabricut in a temporary position and applied for a permanent job subsequently. Fabricut made employee an offer of permanent employment and sent her to its contract medical examiner for a pre-employment drug test and physical. When employee arrived for her physical, she was required to fill out a questionnaire and disclose the existence of numerous separately listed disorders in her family medical history. The questionnaire asked about the existence of heart disease, hypertension, cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, arthritis and “mental disorders” in her family. Employee was then subjected to medical testing, from which the examiner concluded that further evaluation was needed to determine whether employee suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).  As a result the offer of employment was rescinded.

EEOC filed suit and a consent decree settling the case was issued. In addition to a $50,000 payment, Fabricut agreed to take specified actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including the posting of an anti-discrimination notice to employees, dissemination of anti-discrimination policies to employees and providing anti-discrimination training to employees with hiring responsibilities.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Civil Case No.: 13-CV-248-CVE-PJC 2013). See: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-7-13b.cfm

4)

EEOC v Founders Pavillion Inc.- EEOC’s claimed Founders conducted post-offer, pre-employment medical exams of applicants, which were repeated annually if the person was hired. As part of this exam, Founders requested family medical history, a form of prohibited genetic information.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Rochester (Case No. 6:13-cv-06250)

See:  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-16-13a.cfm

5)

See also: Tate v. Quad Graphics Inc et al

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/arkansas/aredce/3:2010cv00296/84587/33/0.pdf?1316499941