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Employment Discrimination Report Discussions on Recent Legislation, Noteworthy Cases & Trends in Enforcement

EEOC’s “Fish In A Barrel Shoot” Ends The Summer

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Employee Training Programs, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Religious Discrimination

Chalk up another direct hit for the EEOC – one more ADA lawsuit filed against a health care provider.  Feel free to go back to our numerous posts about health care providers being a favorite target for the EEOC when it comes to disability suits.

We have dubbed this exercise by the EEOC “like shooting fish in a barrel.”  What can be more compelling from an EEOC public relations point of view than a charge that health care folks are discriminating against disabled folks?

It is alleged that Kaiser Permanente in San Diego hired an employee who suffers from hydrocephalus, which creates problems with memory, dizziness and concentration.

Apparently the employee asked for more training time and a temporary job coach – who would have been provided free by a non-profit organization,  Toward Maximum Independence.

Kaiser allegedly refused this request and fired the employee. 

Employers:  memorize this - the law requires discussions with an employee in response to an accommodation request and a reasonable accommodation that is not unduly burdensome.

While we’re on the subject, the EEOC also just announced a new religious discrimination lawsuit which it filed in Denver against JetStream Ground Services.  The EEOC alleges that JetStream refused to hire or utilize numerous female Muslims to clean aircraft cabins, even though many had been doing this for years.  The alleged reason – they requested an accommodation for their religious dress which the company refused and instead criticized. 11986923_s

We have also written a number of posts on the subject of accommodation of religious beliefs, and on April 4, 2013 we wrote:

Question: When will employers and/or their trusted HR people and advisors learn the law about accommodation for religious beliefs? 

Answer:  Only after they get sued.