The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against Grady Memorial Hospital alleging it violated federal law by failing to accommodate its employee’s disability and then firing her because of her disability.
According to the EEOC’s suit, the employee requested approximately five weeks of leave from work due to a medical condition. The EEOC alleges that the employee attempted to return from leave as scheduled, however Grady refused to accept her doctor’s release and instead required her to obtain another release from her physician. Grady then discharged her, allegedly for violating a work rule, before she could return. The EEOC contends that this discharge was a pretext for disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and prohibits discharging an employee because of a disability. The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
What does this mean for employers? When an employee needs leave related to a medical condition, it often implicates the ADA. Employers are required to consider its obligations under the ADA when applying its work policies.
The attorneys at York Bowman Law, LLC can assist employers with leave requests to ensure compliance with federal and state statutes.