Illegal to Fire Employees Because Their Medication Will Increase Insurance Costs

     The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced that it settled a lawsuit with Signature Industrial Services, LLC, in which the EEOC alleged that the company had discriminated against three of its employees who were brothers and suffered from hemophilia, which is a blood disorder.  The brothers’ disability did not impact their ability to perform their job duties, but the employer required them to have expensive medicine in case they suffered some type of injury at work that caused bleeding.  The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that Signature learned that the medication for the brothers could cause a large increase in insurance costs, and Signature directed the brothers’ project manager to fire them.  That manager refused to fire the brothers because of their strong work history.  However, after their manager stopped working at the plant, Signature ordered the new supervisor to fire them.  The lawsuit alleges that the brothers were told they were terminated due to a layoff on July 3, 2013.  The lawsuit further claims that no other employees were laid off for the supposed “reduction in force.”  Terminating employees due to their disability is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  See EEOC v. Signature Industrial Services, LLC, No. 1:18-cv-70 (E.D. Tex.).

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