EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement

     A healthcare company that provides medical services has reportedly agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought against it alleging disability discrimination.  The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that nurse Beatrice Chambers received sick leave in order to have surgery on her shoulder.  Before her leave expired, Chambers requested an extension of her leave or, in the alternative, light duty work.  This request was made with the advice of her doctor and her physical therapist.  River Region did not grant this request, did not provide Chambers with a reasonable accommodation and eventually terminated Chambers’ employment.  Chambers had worked as a nurse for River Region for 36 years.  Terminating an employee because of her disability is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Employers must provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the employer.  See EEOC v. Vicksburg Healthcare, L.L.C., No. 15-60764 (5th Cir. Oct. 12, 2016).

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