The EEOC has just announced that it has sued a community hospital in West Virginia which allegedly refused to appoint a long-time 48-year old employee with “a back impairment” to a vacant position – the supervisor allegedly made “various oral and written statements indicating that [the employee] was not hired for the job because of his age and because he was regarded as disabled.
Once again, an EEOC attorney repeated the standard mantra in these cases: “The EEOC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants will be fairly assessed on their ability to do a job, and not wrongfully excluded due to myths or biases about age or perceived disabilities.”
In a second case, the EEOC sued an Oklahoma acute care hospital under the ADA for allegedly firing a nurse’s aide after she told her supervisor that she had cancer and would undergo radiation treatment. Apparently, after she completed radiation treatment she called in sick because of nausea and fatigue, the supervisor placed her on leave and told her to “get rested up from the radiation,” and then fired her for “no call/no show.”
In a third new suit concerning an employee with cancer, the EEOC sued an Ohio bearings manufacturer for firing an employee “based on her status as a cancer survivor.” The employee provided her employer with medical documentation that she could work without any medical restriction, but the company still fired her “because she had medical restrictions which limited her ability to lift and no light-duty work was available.” A pretext, contends the EEOC
The EEOC declared yet again that “One of the six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) is for the agency to address emerging and developing issues in equal employment law, including issues involving the ADA and pregnancy-related limitations, among other possible issues.”
We’ve been warning employers for a long time now of the EEOC’s targeting of health care providers for ADA violations – in a PR sense, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel for the EEOC!