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Dollar General's Creepy Pre-Employment Medical Exams Cost Them $1 Million
That's actually pretty low, but at least they're not doing them anymore?
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variety store required applicants to their Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse to take an invasive medical exam and then rescinded job offers to applicants that did not “pass,” including “applicants whose blood pressure exceeded 160/100 or who had less than 20/50 vision in one eye, even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.”
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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.
In Other Labor News …
In the ongoing United Auto Workers Strike, General Motors has upped its offer to a 23 percent salary increase for workers [Reuters].
On Friday afternoon Shawn Fain did a Facebook Live in which he noted that these companies keep coming up with “record” offers every other day, suggesting that they really do have a lot more to give. He also explained that the only reason these offers are “records” are because of what workers gave up to help bail out the industry. [Detroit Free Press]
And UAW workers have shut down the Stellantis assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. [Twitter]
The Wall Street Journal published a totally bizarre op-ed whining about how unfair it is that Democrats keep accusing Republicans of trying to bring back child labor, just because they keep trying to bring back child labor. “Parents know better than the government or the media how much work is too much for a teen,” think tank founder Tarren Bragdon claimed, while praising Florida Republican state Rep. Linda Chaney for her “commonsense” proposed legislation that would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to work more than 30 hours a week during the school year. Because sure, it’s just “common sense” that kids should work full-time jobs in addition to going to school. [Wall Street Journal gift link]
Hundreds of workers have walked off the job at Providence St. Joseph hospital in Burbank, California over what they say are unfair labor practices and issues including “under staffing, worker turnover and patient care concerns.” [ABC 7]
Raytheon union workers in Arizona have secured a new three-year contract that includes wage increases, at least 25 days off, bonuses, and strengthened grievance and arbitration procedures. [KVOA]