Yes — that’s what an EEOC attorney said upon the settlement for $75,000 of an ADA case it brought in California against Kaiser Permanente, the US’s largest managed care organization.
Indeed, this is not the first such pointed comment from the EEOC: just recently we quoted an EEOC attorney commenting on the filing of a similar suit against a health care facility as saying: “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.”
September 27th was our most recent post about the EEOC’s targeting of health care organizations under the ADA:
“Way back 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.'”
Our refrain to health care providers for, like, forever, has been: the EEOC is targeting you under the ADA; you are ‘low hanging fruit’ for them; and for them it is ‘like shooting fish in a barrel.’ Read, understand and comply with the law!
No one in the industry seems to be listening.
In this latest case, a food service worker just hired and suffering from hydrocephalus, which causes difficulties with memory, dizziness and concentration, asked for an accommodation for the disability: additional training time, as well as the assistance of a temporary job coach – which a local non-profit organization which specializes in such coaching for employees with disabilities agreed to provide free of charge to the employer.
The new hiree was not accommodated — she was fired.
The San Diego EEOC office director said that “One would expect that a medical center, of all places, would be sensitive and understanding on the needs and challenges of an employee with a disability.”
Employers: Read below what two EEOC attorneys have said about this case:
“Disability does not mean inability. Individuals are successful in the workplace when given support, reasonable accommodations, and, most importantly, when given the chance.”
“So long as accommodations do not pose an undue hardship, employers must work with workers to ensure that effective accommodations are in place so that they may be fully successful in the workplace.”
Now don’t complain that you didn’t know.