Fleet says it acted within law in denying job to trucker with bipolar disorder

| January 18, 2017

Stevens Transport filed its response to a lawsuit by the EEOC, which alleged the company wrongfully denied employment to an applicant. (Photo by 365 Trucking)

In response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Stevens Transport says it acted within the law when it denied employment to Brian Brown, a U.S. Air Force veteran who had applied for a job as a truck driver.

Stevens (No. 38 on the CCJ Top 250) says in its response, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, that Brown did not complete the application process, including the DOT physical exam, and was not qualified for the position. EEOC alleged in its lawsuit that Stevens denied Brown the job because of his bipolar disorder.

EEOC claimed in its lawsuit that Stevens told Brown he could not be hired “per company policy” because of the medication he takes to control his bipolar disorder. The lawsuit said that Brown had documentation from his doctor stating he was safe to drive, but that the doctor Stevens Transport used to do medical exams told him he could not be hired while on the medication.

Agency lawsuit challenges carrier’s refusal to hire driver with bipolar disorder

Agency lawsuit challenges carrier’s refusal to hire driver with bipolar disorder

A U.S. Air Force veteran was allegedly denied employment because of the medication he takes to control his bipolar disorder.

In its response, Stevens says it used an independent doctor who relied on FMCSA guidance to conduct DOT physicals and that Brown “created a substantial risk to the motoring public,” adding that he was in violation of federal physical qualification regulations.

EEOC in its lawsuit asked for back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Brown, as well as injunctive relief. Stevens requests in its response that the court dismiss the claims and award it court costs, attorney’s fees and other relief.

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