The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking a federal judge to compel the state of Louisiana to turn over records related to a landmark disability law aimed at helping Americans who have a mental illness or have been injured on the job.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Baton Rouge by Louisiana attorney general Buddy Caldwell.
He alleges the law violates the First Amendment rights of those who are disabled, such as those who have mental illnesses and have worked in jobs where they have a disability.
The law, the Individuals with Disabilities Employment and Training Act, allows employers to exclude workers with disabilities from certain jobs.
The law also provides for compensation for those who lose employment because of their disability.
The lawsuit alleges that Louisiana failed to disclose to its workers and their families the fact that the law is designed to exclude disabled workers from jobs where there is a disability or to make it difficult for them to seek compensation for their disabilities.
“If the Department fails to comply with the Order of January 20, 2019, the suit claims it will be liable for any and all damages sustained by the State in this matter,” Caldwell’s office said in a statement.
The Louisiana law was passed in 2017, but President Donald Trump signed it into law on April 3, 2019.
In March, Caldwell and his office said the law would make it easier for businesses to fire people who are found to be disabled and would also allow people with disabilities to receive financial compensation for lost wages and benefits.
The Justice Department filed a similar lawsuit against the states of Texas and North Carolina earlier this year.
The two states argued that the laws are unconstitutional and that the Trump administration is violating the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili- ties by denying them the same legal protections afforded to workers.