U.S. Steel sued for discrimination

08.10.2010

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sues U.S. Steel Corporation for the discriminative policy requiring probationary employees to undergo random alcohol tests and dismissals as a result of such test.

USA: In its press-release issued on October 5, 2010 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its lawsuit against the U.S. Steel Corporation for violation of U.S. federal law. The press-release states that U.S. Steel applied a nation-wide policy of random alcohol tests and dismissed several employees based on the results of the tests.

Abigail DeSimone, employed at U.S. Steel site in Clairton, Pennsylvania, was obliged to pass through a breath alcohol test during her probation period at her workplace without any reasonable basis.

After a false positive test result DeSimone was convicted of violation of internal company's drug and alcohol policy and her contract was terminated. The explanations regarding particular health situation which may have resulted in positive alcohol test results of the employee as well as her suggestion to carry out additional tests were denied. The company also ignored the results of the alternative blood alcohol test made the same day at the request of DeSimone by her physician and revealing no alcohol presence in her blood.

In its press-release the EEOC declares that "U.S. Steel terminated DeSimone as a result of its unlawful medical examination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)".

 "Since at least 2006, the EEOC asserts, U.S. Steel has had a policy in its basic labor agreement in effect at its Clairton facility and other facilities nationwide which provides for the random alcohol testing of probationary employees and does not require the company to have a reasonable basis for subjecting the employee to the random test, in violation of the ADA," states the EEOC press-release.

Full text of the press-release is available on the EEOC website.

U.S. Steel Corporation with headquarters in Pittsburgh employs over 42,000 workers worldwide.