November 17, 2022
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Atlanta Hospital Failed to Accommodate Its Employee’s Disability and Then Fired Her, Federal Agency Charged
Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, a public hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, will pay $55,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Grady violated federal law by failing to accommodate an employee’s disability and then firing her because of that disability. The employee requested approximately five weeks of leave from work due to a medical condition. When she attempted to return to work on the date provided by her original doctor’s note, she was told she needed to provide another doctor’s note. The employee attempted to obtain a new doctor’s note, but Grady discharged her before she was able to do so for allegedly violating one of its work rules, which was a pretext for discrimination, the EEOC said.
Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, which requires that disabilities be accommodated and prohibits discharging an employee because of a disability. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:22-CV-02059-TCB-JSA) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process.
Under the two-year consent decree settling the suit, Grady will pay the former employee $55,000; train its employees on the ADA; make changes to its employment policies; and allow the EEOC to monitor how it handles future requests for accommodation.
“We are pleased that Grady agreed to resolve this case and compensate its former employee,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “Providing an accommodation for an employee’s disability is an important obligation. Grady will not only compensate the claimant; it will also take the steps necessary to improve its accommodation process to ensure this does not happen again.”
Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, added, “Grady is one of the largest employers in the State of Georgia. Its agreement to update its policies and provide training under the consent decree will impact Grady’s handling of ADA accommodation requests and help protect those employees who make such requests in the future.”
For more information on disability discrimination, please visit eeoc.gov/disability-discrimination .
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