Amtrak to Pay $112K to Settle Seattle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

August 19, 2016

The Washington, D.C.-based National Passenger Railroad Corp., better known as Amtrak, will pay $112,000 and provide other relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a Seattle-based Amtrak job applicant.

According to EEOC’s suit, Amtrak withdrew its job offer of machinist journeyman at its Seattle yard when it learned Shawn Moe had a history of three epileptic seizures over the course of his life. Amtrak cited safety concerns, despite Moe’s record of safely working a similar job and despite his neurologist verifying to Amtrak that his epilepsy was successfully controlled on medication, that he had been seizure-free for years, and that he was able to safely perform the essential functions of the job without limitation while on medication.

Moe had previously worked for another railroad company and now has a machinist job at different company.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of his disability, and also requires an employer to assess a worker’s actual ability to perform job functions where potential safety concerns are raised.

EEOC said it filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington [Case No. 2:15-cv-01269] after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to a monetary payment, Amtrak must train its staff on hiring obligations and assessing reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

Source: EEOC

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