16055715_sEquip for Equality, which is an “independent, private, not-for-profit organization designated by the governor in 1985 to implement the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System in Illinois,” has just announced that it has filed a lawsuit in Illinois against a hotel that fired a front desk clerk with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea who needed to use oxygen at work as per her doctor’s recommendation.  When she told her employer about her need for oxygen she was fired.

According to the Complaint, she “frequently experienced tightness in her chest and significant difficulty breathing. She controlled these symptoms through the use of an inhaler during the day and an oxygen machine at night.”  After being hospitalized, her doctors “informed her that she needed to start using oxygen twenty-four hours per day.”

Prior to filing the lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a finding of reasonable cause of violation of the ADA.

Equip stated that: “We brought this case not only to vindicate our client’s rights, but also to educate employers that under the ADA they have an obligation to accommodate people with disabilities in the workplace.”

Just a quick reminder that the EEOC is not the only one who can sue you on behalf of employees.