SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the Washington, D.C.-based
National Passenger Railroad Corporation, better known as Amtrak, will pay
$112,000 after allegations of violating federal disability laws.
According to EEOC, Amtrak withdrew a job offer to Shawn Moe
after it learned he had a history of three epileptic seizures over the course
of his life. The company allegedly cited safety concerns, but EEOC said Moe had a record of safely working a similar job and a neurologist note that
his epilepsy was properly controlled by medication.
"Amtrak concluded that Mr. Moe presented a significant
safety risk without assessing the actual likelihood of him having a seizure at
all,” said EEOC senior trial attorney May Che. “In enacting the ADA, Congress
stated employers must rely on objective, factual evidence - not on
subjective perceptions, irrational fears, and patronizing attitudes - about the
nature or effect of a particular disability or of disability generally."
Amtrak, in addition to monetary fines, must train its staff
on hiring obligations as they relate to reasonable accommodations for persons
with disabilities. It must also implement a modified ADA policy and post a
notice for its employees about this case.