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Norfolk Southern Settles Systemic Disability Discrimination Lawsuit


EEOC filed lawsuit after the voluntary conciliation process failed

EEOC alleged that Norfolk Southern unlawfully disqualified workers from employment based on a range of actual or perceived disabilities, or a history of such disabilities, that were disclosed during pre-employment or return-to-work medical evaluations.  The agency claimed that the company “engaged in a practice of medically disqualifying workers without proper consideration of whether, or to what extent, their conditions might affect their ability to perform the jobs safely.”

EEOC filed suit in the District Court for the West District of Pennsylvania after attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.  The settlement occurred prior to any federal court adjudication of liability issues.   To settle the EEOC lawsuit, Norfolk Southern agreed to sign a two and a half-year consent decree and pay a total of $3.5 million to 37 workers. The consent decree also requires the company to implement measures to prevent workplace disability discrimination related to medical evaluations, including policies, procedures, training, and the appointment of a company decree compliance monitor who will report to EEOC.

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