Tyson Foods Agrees to Pay $35,000 for Settlement
ST. LOUIS - Tyson Foods, Inc., agrees to pay its former employee Mark White $35,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had charged Tyson Foods because the company refused to hire White, who had epilepsy. The EEOC lawsuit filed in May 2010 and alleged that Tyson's refusal to hire White violated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
White's epilepsy had been controlled by medication for 12 years and Tyson had previously employed him twice during this time period, according to the EEOC's news release. However, the company instituted a new medical assessment procedure since last hiring White and refused to hire him because he did not pass a medical evaluation. The doctor who performed the evaluation for Tyson did not examine White, but relied on the previous medical research in determining he could not perform a maintenance job safely.
"While the terms of the consent degree only affect Tyson's Sedalia facility, Tyson employs more than 117,000 people at more than 400 facilities and offices," EEOC Regional facility Barbara Seely said in the news release. "We are hopeful that the process we have agreed to works well enough that Tyson adopts it in other facilities."
In addition to paying White $35,000 as back pay and compensatory damages, Tyson Foods also agrees to institute a new assessment procedure for similar cases.