As truck drivers know, there are physical requirements to become a truck driver. You must pass the Department of Transportation exam to get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Not everybody is healthy and able enough to drive a 80,000 pound rig.
The DOT physical ensures you are physically fit to drive a large motor vehicle. During the exam, your vision, hearing, and health will all be tested. Passing this test every 2 years is important for both you and other drivers on the road.
For more information about the DOT physical, check out the article in our “Become a Truck Driver” section.
JBS Carriers, however, went a step beyond simply using the DOT physical to assess their drivers. And this resulted in a discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
JBS was eventually ordered to pay $250,000 as of April 4th, 2019. In addition to this lump sum, the trucking company had to issue out relief funds and obey other stipulations.
What Happened Behind the Scenes?
Truck drivers are in high demand. And most trucking companies are happy just to get an applicant with a CDL and a clean bill of health.
JBS Carriers, though, hired ErgoMed Work Systems, Inc. to filter applicants. ErgoMed does prescreening for employers,specifically in the area of “health and wellness,” as claimed on their website.
According to the lawsuit, JBS Carriers used an ErgoMed screening to deny applicants who were capable of driving.
One of the incidents cited involved a trucker of 30 years named Cindy Divine. After JBS Carriers offered her a conditional position,Divine traveled to Greeley, Colorado, and took the ErgoMed test.
During the process, Divine relayed that her shoulder was sore from carrying her bags from the bus to the hotel. After revealing the soreness in her shoulder, ErgoMed would not allow Divine to take their physical tests.
That move ultimately led to JBS Carriers not hiring the eligible trucker.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, strictly prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability. And according to the lawsuit, this is exactly what JBS Carriers did on at least five occasions.
These five individuals will be compensated as part of the $250,000 order, and JBS Carriers has agreed to cease using the ErgoMed tests.