We decided to blog about every EEOC disability discrimination case against health care companies so that the industry gets the message that it is being targeted.

The latest:  Dependable Health Services, Inc., a Texas company which provides contract workers to the military, has settled a disability discrimination case for $40,000.  The EEOC alleged that an employee was hospitalized for stroke-like symptoms, and when she returned she was fired.  Apparently, she “experience[ed] temporary facial paralysis likely caused by Bell’s palsy,” but even after she was medically cleared to return to work she was fired “because management officials believed she had suffered a stroke (emphasis added).”  

We have heard this before from the EEOC when it publicizes the settlement of such cases involving perception of disability, and employers should read it carefully:

“In this case an employee suffered financially because an employer misjudged her condition and her ability to work. …  [E]mployers should not make decisions based on perceptions about someone’s supposed impairment. This case should remind all employers that the ADA requires employers to make an individualized assessment about an applicant or employee’s ability to do the job instead of acting out of speculative fears or biases (emphasis added).”  (From the EEOC trial attorney).