Federal Agency Says St. Paul Company Fired Employee for Depression Despite His Submitting to Unlawfully Mandated Examination
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Impressions, Incorporated, a St. Paul-based design, printing and packaging company, violated federal law by requiring unlawful medical exams and then firing an employee because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed this week.
According to Julianne Bowman, District Director for the EEOC's Chicago District office, who supervised the investigation preceding the lawsuit, Justin Cadmus had worked for ten years as a press helper for Impressions Incorporated and was rated a top performer. In 2014, Cadmus was diagnosed by his family doctor with depression. His supervisor became aware that he had ceased taking medication for the depression, and, in April 2015, told him to see a doctor and then to see a psychologist, and to go back on medication. Although Cadmus complied with these unlawful directives which were not justified by business necessity, he was fired because of his depression.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, which can include requiring unnecessary medical examinations and firing an employee because of his disability. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case, EEOC v. Impressions Incorporated, Civil Action No. 0:17-cv-01466-PAM-SER, was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and was assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson. The government's litigation effort will be led by Trial Attorney Patrick Connor and supervised by EEOC Associate Regional Attorney Jean P. Kamp.
"Employers cannot require employees to have unnecessary medical and psychological examinations or require the employee to obtain prescription drugs as a condition of continued employment," said Greg Gochanour, the regional attorney for the EEOC's Chicago District Office. "Mr. Cadmus should not have been asked to take the two examinations in the first place, but he did so, and yet he was fired anyway. This company's behavior was inexcusably callous as well as unlawful, and the EEOC is here to combat such unfair conduct."
The EEOC's Minneapolis Area Office is part of the Chicago District, which is responsible for handling charges of employment discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.