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EEOC Sues Zoe Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Health for Disability Discrimination

October 9, 2023
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Pediatric Health Services Provider Failed to Accommodate Employee and Fired Her Because of Her Medical Conditions, Federal Agency Charges

Zoe Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Health, LLC, a provider of pediatric and adolescent health services in Thomaston, Georgia, violated federal law when it denied an employee an accommodation for her disabilities and then fired her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, in January 2022, an employee requested an accommodation to work remotely three days per week due to her disabilities. As a web designer, the employee was able to perform all her job duties remotely. However, the day after her request, Zoe Pediatrics denied the employee’s request for an accommodation and terminated her.

Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 4:23-CV-00167-CDL) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunc­tive relief to prevent future discrimination.

“The ADA requires employers to accommodate employee disabilities and prohibits them from firing people because of those conditions,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Here, where the termination was contemporaneous with the employer’s denial of a reasonable accommodation request, there was a clear violation of the ADA, which the EEOC is proud to enforce.”

Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC is committed to enforcing the ADA to protect the rights of aggrieved employees and providing a fair workplace for employees with disabilities.”

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