Copper Firm Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

Federal agency alleged KobeWieland Copper Products violated Americans with Disabilities Act.

KobeWieland Copper Products has agreed to pay $84,750 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency reported Tuesday.

The EEOC claimed that KobeWieland Copper Products, which manufactures copper tubing, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it rescinded an employment offer to an applicant at its Pine Hall, N.C., facility after a hiring official noticed the new employee was missing fingers on his left hand. A childhood accident led to the missing fingers, the EEOC stated.

The incident occurred in September 2008.

According to the EEOC, the manufacturer rescinded the employment offer due to concern that the new employee could not perform the job due to his missing fingers. The federal agency said he was fully qualified and able to perform the job.

The alleged conduct by KobeWieland violated the ADA, which protects people against discrimination against perceived disabilities in addition to actual disabilities, according to the agency.

In addition to the monetary sum, KobeWieland agreed to post a copy of its anti-discrimination policy in its facilities and to provide training on the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all managers and supervisors. The company also agreed to alert the EEOC for the next two years of any applicants who disclose a disability or who are disqualified from employment as a result of a post-offer medical exam by the company.

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