Lawsuit accuses JBS Carriers of filtering out job applicants who have disabilities | TheFencePost.com

Lawsuit accuses JBS Carriers of filtering out job applicants who have disabilities

Sara Knuth
The Greeley Tribune

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Monday, accusing Greeley-based trucking company JBS Carriers of using pre-employment screening procedures to filter out applicants with disabilities.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, claims the company discriminated against applicants with disabilities, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.

In a news release, commission officials said JBS Carriers contracts with ErgoMed WorkSystems, Inc., to administer pre-employment screenings for people who apply for truck-driving jobs. When the company administers the screenings, the commission alleged in the lawsuit, they unlawfully screen out disabled applicants.

In a statement, spokeswoman Misty Barnes said JBS Carriers, the transportation arm of beef processor JBS USA, said the company disputes the allegations.

"We enjoy a diverse workforce and work hard to provide an inclusive environment of opportunity for all of our team members," she said in the statement. "These false accusations are inconsistent with our culture and do not reflect the values of the company."

DISCRIMINATION ALLEGATIONS

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JBS USA is the subject of a separate civil suit filed in August. In the lawsuit, company officials are accused of discriminating against a former human resources supervisor for his religious beliefs and nationality.

As part of the lawsuit, the commission highlighted Cindy Divine, a California resident who applied to work as a truck driver with JBS Carriers. The company required her to travel from her home in Lake Elsinore, Calif., to Greeley, Colo., to complete the screening. After she traveled to Greeley, according to the release, ErgoMed, the screening company, determined she had issues with her shoulders.

"Although Ms. Divine told ErgoMed she did not have shoulder problems and was merely sore from carrying heavy luggage from the bus stop to her motel, ErgoMed prevented her from completing the physical abilities testing that was required by JBS Carriers," according to the release. "ErgoMed recommended that JBS Carriers should not hire Ms. Divine, and JBS Carriers accepted that recommendation."

In the lawsuit, the commission asked the court to order the company to provide Divine and other applicants back wages, damages and a permanent injunction that would prohibit the company from using ErgoMed screening procedures.

The commission also called on the company to implement policies that prevent disability discrimination in the workplace. ❖

— Knuth covers government for The Tribune. You can reach her at (970) 392-4412, sknuth@greeleytribune.com or on Twitter @SaraKnuth.