Two more ADA cases have hit the news this week, one of which involves – you guessed it – a suit against a medical center. To repeat our mantra: the EEOC is gunning for medical providers to sue under the ADA.
The EEOC sued an Oakland-based medical center, Children’s Hospital and Research Center, on behalf of an office associate diagnosed with breast cancer after 2 years on the job. She was fired after requesting additional medical leave, even though, according to the EEOC, her request would not have posed an undue hardship.
The EEOC quoted the employee as saying that “I had hoped that an employer like Children’s Hospital, whose aim is to heal children with serious diseases and conditions, would show understanding while I was undergoing treatment for my disability.”
This is just what we warned health care providers some time ago (and often since) – “shooting fish in a barrel” is our way of describing such cases brought by the EEOC, and this employee’s quote explains pretty clearly why.
In a second case, A Georgia telesales and data services company has agreed to settle for $135,000 an ADA suit brought by the EEOC on behalf of an employee with bipolar disorder and depression. The suit alleged failure to accommodate — that the company fired the employee who took short-term disability leave, and later requested that a 4-week extension.
Said an EEOC attorney: “The American workforce includes many talented individuals who suffer discrimination because their disabilities are stigmatized or simply misunderstood. The EEOC is committed to ensuring that employers understand that providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with psychiatric disabilities is more than just the right thing to do – it’s the law.”