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EEOC charges Celadon with discrimination

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The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor-tunity Commission is suing Celadon Group Inc., charging that the Indianapolis-based trucking firm discriminated against candidates with disabilities who applied for driving jobs.

The EEOC claims in a lawsuit filed Feb. 29 that Celadon subjected job applicants to medical exams and failed to hire qualified truck-driving candidates because of disabilities, or perceived ones.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer cannot conduct a medical examination of a job candidate until the employer has given the applicant a job offer conditioned upon passing the exam, Laurie Young, regional attorney for the Indianapolis office of the EEOC, said in a prepared statement.

But the agency says Celadon conducted medical exams to reject candidates before making job offers, which violates U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

The EEOC charges that Celadon has been violating ADA requirements since 2009.

Celadon CEO Steve Russell denied wrongdoing and said the company is abiding by Department of Transportation regulations.

“The reality is, if you hire a driver and then give them a physical, that’s crazy,” Russell said. “If you talk to the [Department of Transportation], they will say they don’t understand what the EEOC is trying to do.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation couldn’t be reached for comment.

The suit alleges Celadon rejected at least 16 job applicants for truck-driving positions and cited four specific instances, three of which included applicants with hearing impairments and another suffering from deep venous thrombosis who was taking a blood thinner to treat the condition.

Medical exams given by Celadon included vision and hearing screenings, blood and urine tests, blood-pressure checks and other cardiovascular exams, as well as requests for medical histories and lists of prescribed medications, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC is seeking monetary damages on behalf of the applicants in addition to a permanent injunction barring the company from engaging in further employment practices that violate the ADA.

Celadon has 3,500 employees, including more than 2,400 drivers.•

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This story originally ran in the March 1, 2012, IBJ Daily. Indianapolis Business Journal is a sister publication of IL.

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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