EEOC Targets Texas Painting Company for ADA Violations

Thursday, July 12, 2018
George Indest HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On June 28, 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit in Texas federal court against, Steel Painters, a sandblasting and painting company. Steel Painters is accused of unlawfully firing a worker who was using methadone to treat a prior addiction to painkillers.

The EEOC says Steel Painter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by hiring and then firing Matthew Kimball because it regarded him as disabled with a drug addiction. He is recovering from a drug addiction and has been enrolled in a supervised methadone treatment program since 2013.


The Lawsuit.

Steel Painters hired Kimball as a journeyman painter in September 2016. A week into his employment, his pre-employment drug test was flagged as positive. After explaining his situation, the company agreed to keep him on if the clinic filled out a prepared form explaining his enrollment in the program.

When the clinic instead offered a written discussion outlining the terms of his program and provided documentation signed by one of his doctors, Steel fired him, according to the suit.

The EEOC’s suit seeks an injunction barring Steel Painters from firing or not hiring individuals because of their disabilities. More specifically, from discriminating against workers whose disabilities require the supervised use of methadone. Lastly, it also seeks front and back pay for Kimball, an appropriate position at the company and damages for emotional pain and suffering.

Click here to read the complaint in full.

To read about a similar case of the EEOC filing suit for ADA violations, click here to read one of my prior blogs.


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Sources:

Petrick, John. “EEOC Says Firing Over Methadone Treatment Flouted ADA.” Law360. (July 6, 2018).

Wiessner, Daniel. “EEOC targets painting company in latest suit over opioid treatment.” Thompson Reuters. (July 6, 2018). Web.


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.


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7/12/2018

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