Saying it tried unsuccesfully to settle the matter, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week charged Mercy Hospice, a member of the Trinity Home Health System, with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing a disabled nurse rather than provide her a reasonable accommodation.
The EEOC claims that Mercy Hospice in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., terminated Patricia Barriger when she tried to return to work from a medical leave of absence. Instead of providing her with a reasonable accommodation, however, the company discharged her claiming she was an inactive employee who was not entitled to an accommodation.
The EEOC was not buying that explanation. The ADA protects employees, even if they are on medical leave,” explained EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. “Employees like Ms. Barriger who are capable of working, with or without a reasonable accommodation, should be allowed to continue despite their disabilities.”