St. Vincent Hospital to Pay $15k to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

June 04, 2018

St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc. will pay $15,000 to resolve a lawsuit disability discrimination filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportun­ity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to provide its employee with a reasonable accommodation of a transfer to a vacant position for which she was qualified.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, when St. Vincent learned that Latoya Moore’s lifting restrictions caused by her disabilities were indefinite, St. Vincent required Moore to take leave at reduced pay, even though she wanted to continue working. Instead of trans­ferring Moore to vacant positions she was qualified for and could perform, St. Vincent fired her, the EEOC charged.

The EEOC brought the suit under the ADA, which prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual because of disabilities. Under the ADA, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to provide a reasonable accommo­dation to a qualified individual with a disability unless the employer can demonstrate the accommodation would impose an undue hard­ship. Transfer to a vacant position for which the employee is qualified can be a reasonable accommo­dation.

In the future, the hospital will be required to notify employees whose disabilities prevent them from performing the essential functions of their existing positions that reassignment to a vacant position for which they are qualified is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. St. Vincent will also be required to provide training on the ADA’s requirements to appropriate personnel, and submit annual compliance reports to the EEOC during the decree’s two-year term.