The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday against the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), claiming a maintenance technician injured on the job was wrongfully denied re-hiring.
The DOJ claims the technician began working with ALDOT in 1999. He injured his shoulder in 2007, which caused permanent damage. The lawsuit states he was thrown off the back of the truck, and the injuries led to multiple surgeries. After recovery, he returned to work in 2009, operating light to heavy machinery used on road construction projects. After several years, he retired in 2015 but decided to go back to work in 2017.
"ALDOT refused to re-hire him because of his disability and instead hired less experienced applicants," the DOJ said in a press release.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the worker in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
"Qualified people with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "This lawsuit reflects the Justice Department's ongoing commitment to protect the employment rights of people with disabilities under the ADA."
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals based on disability.
1819 News has reached out to ALDOT for comment. The full complaint can be read below.
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