Employee Denied Rehire After Heart Attack Recovers $50K in Settlement of ADA Lawsuit

Refusing to rehire an employee because of a medical condition is about a sure-fire way of drawing unwanted attention from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as is there. A Minnesota company that wouldn’t reemploy a laborer after he suffered a heart attack has decided not to fight the EEOC on this issue in court.

The commission announced today that Baldwin Supply Company will pay $50,000 to settle its Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit filed on behalf of Timothy Collins, who worked at the company’s Hibbing, Minnesota location installing conveyor belts.

According to the EEOC, the company didn’t allow Collins to return to work following his heart attack–except for two days–even though his doctor cleared him to return to work. In addition, the EEOC charged, Collins contacted his managers repeatedly about returning to work but they didn’t respond to him.

In other words, they denied Collins his job back because they regarded him as disabled.

The lesson here is never assume that a person’s medical condition or illness is a barrier to work. You’ve got to take into consideration what the person’s doctor says, and if the doctor gives the go-ahead to return work, you must explore with the employee a reasonable accommodation that would permit his or her return to work without causing your business an undue hardship.

Read more about the case.

 

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