This may sound like our post of two days ago in which we recounted a settlement by a care facility which refused to hire an applicant who was deaf to be a cook/dietary aide. But it is not.
Another care facility, a NC nursing home, just agreed to pay $35,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit which accused it of firing a cook/dietary aide whose physical impairment limits her use of the left side of her body. According to the EEOC, her supervisor asked her soon after she began working what was wrong with her left arm, and although she explained her limitation she nonetheless said that she was still able to perform her job duties. The supervisor fired her, saying that she did not believe she could perform her job duties without the full use of both arms.
To repeat what we said before: A good many, if not most of the ADA case filings we have seen recently are against medical or health care facilities. Think about it, because the EEOC does — how do you suppose the public reacts to doctors and clinics, there to treat the sick and injured, being sued for allegedly discriminating against their own employees or applicants who are sick or injured?
This is easy stuff for the EEOC.
The EEOC indeed targets heath care providers for disability discrimination claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”),” and we have remarked many times that the EEOC targets these facilities for disability discrimination claims likely because they are fairly easy marks, and it make good PR.
This has been echoed by the EEOC itself. On March 10th we found support for our speculation about the EEOC’s motives — from an EEOC official. He said that:
“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. But our experience has been that all organizations, whatever their line of business and however they are organized, are vulnerable to falling into patterns or acts of discrimination if they do not consciously make compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws a priority.”
So, once again, health care providers must be extra careful when it comes to the ADA — train, train, train your employees well!