DFEH Settles Disability Discrimination Case Against County of Los Angeles Involving Pre-Employment Physicals

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has settled an employment discrimination case with the County of Los Angeles involving two complainants who were allegedly denied or delayed positions with the County due to the County’s pre-employment medical examination requirements, which the DFEH alleged were overly broad. According to the DFEH’s complaint, one of the complainants was denied a position with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for more than 4 years because during her pre-employment medical exam she revealed that she had a thyroid condition, although she did not have any restrictions on her ability to perform the job. The other complainant was allegedly denied a position with the County when he revealed during his pre-employment medical exam that he had a prior knee injury although he too did not have any work restrictions. As part of the settlement, the County agreed to amend its civil service rules about pre-employment medical examinations and will overhaul its medical examination process to only consider medical information that is directly relevant to the job being applied for. The County will also pay a total of $560,000. Of that, $410,000 will be paid directly to a complainant and $150,000 to the DFEH for fees and costs. (The second complainant previously resolved the financial aspect of his case.)

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