Nursing and Health Care Company must pay $465,000 for Discriminating against Disabled and Pregnant Employees

October 29, 2018

A company owning 12 nursing and health care facilities in upstate New York has agreed to settle for $465,000 a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC claimed that the company failed to accommodate disabled workers by denying them leave, refusing to allow disabled employees to return to work unless they could do so without medical restrictions, and subjecting employees to impermissible disability-related inquiries and medical examinations. The EEOC also claimed that the company fired employees on the basis of pregnancy and failed to accommodate pregnancy-related medical restrictions. Federal law makes it crystal-clear that employers have a duty to accommodate employees with disabilities. Before denying an accommodation request by a disabled or pregnant employee, we recommend all employers contact SESCO to ensure compliance with the ADA and the PDA.

It is impermissible and unlawful to fire an employee who exhausts her leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — or other medical leave — without considering additional leave or a job modification that would enable an employee to return to work. Employers must engage in an interactive process with a requesting employee who is pregnant or who has a disability to seek a reasonable accommodation