August 1, 2023
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) for violating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleges that ALDOT refused to hire an individual because of his physical disability that restricts his ability to lift heavy objects.
According to court documents, the individual worked successfully as a Transportation Maintenance Technician (TMT) at ALDOT for many years. He was injured on the job, resulting in a disability that limits his ability to lift heavy objects. Even with his disability, he continued to work successfully with accommodations at ALDOT for several years. However, the United States alleges, when the individual reapplied to be a TMT after a brief retirement, ALDOT refused to re-hire him because of his disability and instead hired less experienced applicants.
“Qualified people with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This lawsuit reflects the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to protect the employment rights of people with disabilities under the ADA.”
Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals on the basis of disability. This includes refusing to hire qualified applicants because of their disability, or using selection criteria that screen out qualified applicants that are not job-related or consistent with business necessity.
This case is being handled by the department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama based on a referral from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
For more information on the ADA, please call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TTY 1-833-610-1264) or visit www.ada.gov. For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit www.justice.gov/crt. Individuals who believe they may have been victims of discrimination may file a complaint at www.civilrights.justice.gov.