U.S. Steel has been hit with a disability discrimination lawsuit in federal court by a former employee whose skin condition prevents him from growing hair long enough to perform drug testing.

This case was first surfaced by Law.com Radar.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana by Edward Nunn, 54, who suffers from a skin condition known as ichthyosis. The condition prevents him from growing his hair more than one quarter of an inch, according to the complaint.

Nunn worked as a crane operator and tractor driver for U.S. Steel since 2012 before he was terminated in March 2021 due to a failure to comply with drug testing and a hair sample agreement. In October 2020, Nunn was called back to work following a layoff and asked to provide a hair sample for a drug test.

According to the complaint, he requested a reasonable accommodation to take the test with either a urine or blood sample but was denied. He was subsequently served with two notices of discipline and suspended for five days.

Nunn brought claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. §12101), claiming that he was ordered to stay out of work “until his hair grew longer,” despite having shown his symptoms related to his conditions, such as thick scaly skin and lack of body hair, at a disciplinary hearing.

“[Nunn] was treated less favorably than similarly situated non-disabled employees who were not terminated and allowed to return to work following the layoff,” the complaint alleges.

Counsel has not yet appeared for U.S. Steel. A representative for the company could not be reached.

Paul J. Cummings of Henn Haworth Cummings + Page in Greenwood, Indiana, who represents Nunn, could not be reached for comment.


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.