TRENTON — A New Jersey trucking company, P. Judge & Sons, Inc., accused of firing an employee diagnosed with sleep apnea despite having medical clearance to continue his job duties, has been ordered to pay a $30,000 settlement.
According to New Jersey's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights, an employee who worked as a yard switcher underwent one of the company's required periodic physicals and was found to have sleep apnea. The employee was then placed on medical leave and underwent treatment for his condition, but allegedly was denied reinstatement to his job even after receiving a medical examiner's certificate (MEC) clearing him to return to his job.
“This case should serve as a reminder to employers across New Jersey that our law against discrimination prevents disability discrimination, and we are committed to ensuring those rights are protected,” Grewal said in a statement. “In the face of repeated certifications of fitness for duty by licensed medical professionals, employers simply do not have authority to impose their own, uninformed biases and terminate a person with a disability.”
The settlement also includes P. Judge & Sons implementing several workplace policy reforms and training in addition to undergoing state monitoring regarding its treatment of employees with disabilities.