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Multiple chemical sensitivity and workplace discrimination: The national EEOC ADA research project

  [ 379 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By CV Vierstra, et al. • • June 11, 2007

Journal: Work. 2007;28(4):391-402.

Authors and affiliations: Vierstra CV, Rumrill PD, Koch LC, McMahon BT. Kent State University, Department of Educational Foundations & Special Services, Kent, Ohio, USA. PMID: 17522460

Information from the Integrated Mission System of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was used to investigate the employment discrimination experiences of Americans with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in comparison to Americans in a general disability group with allergies, asthma, HIV, gastrointestinal impairment, cumulative trauma disorder and tuberculosis.

Specifically, the researchers examined demographic characteristics of the charging parties; the industry designation, location, and size of employers against whom allegations were filed; the nature of discrimination (i.e., type of adverse action) alleged to occur; and the legal outcomes or resolutions of these allegations.

Findings indicate that:

n Persons with MCS were, on average, older than the comparison group and comparatively overrepresented by Caucasians and women.

n People with MCS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to allege discrimination related to reasonable accommodations.

n People with MCS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to file allegations against employers in the manufacturing and public administration industries, employers with 201-500 workers, and employers in the Western Census region.

n People with MCS were proportionally more likely than the comparison group to receive non-merit resolutions as a result of the EEOC's Americans with Disabilities Act Title I investigatory process.

Implications for policy and advocacy are addressed.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

EEOC is protecting employers from people with Toxic Encephalopathy/ME/MCS
Posted by: lheas
Jul 2, 2007
I have been discriminated by the Mpls office of EEOC twice in the past 10 years. The first discrimination occurred after I submitted discrimination and wrongful termination charges on the employer who injured me. I had forensic medical evidence of the injury of toxic encephalopathy caused by solvents used in an in house print shop that was not properly ventilated allowing fumes to migrate into shared office ventilation and worse they crossed heat exchangers and turned into chemicals of acid property. The company's own air quality reports revealed the chemicals found in my blood and adipose. I sued in Federal Court for my job reinstated in accordance with the ADA. The Judge ignored all of my evidence both for the injury and for the discrmination. In fact the court and/or clerks kept a key piece of evidence off the docket that was self incriminating of the employer. The employer won at the district level and again at the appellate level. One of the 3 Judge panel at the district level wrote a scathing 7 page dissent in which he stated that the district court Judge ruled erroneously and that the majority appellate judges should not have upheld that ruling. He further stated that while that case law exists no plaintiff will ever prevail with similar circumstances. Well here I am 10 years later as I pursued the Social Security Ticket to work program and my own case law from 10 years ago is against me. It is like Deja vu. The EEOC was given the highest authority to protect social security beneficiaries who are on the ticket and yet they dismissed my case and issued a right of notice to sue. Something has to give with the EEOC protecting employers. Lynn in MN
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