This is a quote from an EEOC attorney who just commenced an ADA suit against — you guessed it — an Albuquerque home respiratory services and medical equipment company.
It underscores, if that is needed, our frequent warning to health care employers to comply with the anti-discrimination laws — especially the ADA (and now GINA — see our post published earlier today) because the EEOC is zeroing in on you!
In this new case, the company allegedly fired a warehouse clerk one week after she returned to work from medical leave to remove a 23-pound tumor, and after she provided the company with notice of her medical restrictions.
The significance of this post, as faithful readers are likely to guess, is the quote from an EEOC attorney:
“One would hope that a health care organization would be the employer least likely to fire someone because she was recovering from serious surgery. Such conduct is not only cruel and insensitive, it’s illegal, and the EEOC is here to combat it.”
On October 1, 2012 we titled a post “EEOC Making An Example Of Health Care Industry As ADA Violators.” Since then we have written innumerable posts in which we have detected a pattern of the EEOC’s targeting of health care facilities and providers for violating the ADA, and have even characterized these cases as: “low hanging fruit,” and “shooting fish in a barrel.”
And an EEOC official said earlier this year:
“Sometimes it looks like organizations engaged in the health care field or in the performance of other ‘good works’ consider it impossible for them to have discriminated — or to be challenged for having discriminated — particularly when it comes to the ADA.”
Could there be any more pointed challenge to health care folks to train-train-train, and comply-comply-comply?