Bad Mix: Concrete Company Fired Employee Because He Had Prostate Cancer, EEOC Alleges

Was firing an employee who had prostate cancer because he requested a few more days off for medical treatment a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act? Yes, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which announced yesterday that it has filed suit against the alleged violator, OK Concrete, a Wichita Falls, Texas-based mixed concrete company.

The EEOC is alleging that the employee, Joey Snyder successfully completed his training for the job. However, he subsequently notified a member of management that he would need a few days off after his health benefits became active to receive treatment for his cancer. Snyder was fired just hours later. The EEOC charges that the decision to fire Snyder was based on disability discrimination.

“Sometimes when employers learn of a cancer diagnosis, it leads to assumptions, even fears, about whether that employee will be able to do the job,” said Toby Wosk Costas, acting regional attorney for the EEOC’s Dallas District Office. “Before the ADA, these myths and fears led to getting rid of an employee. But Congress said otherwise 25 years ago.”

Read more about the lawsuit.

BONUS COVERAGE:  The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services issued a new set of frequently-asked questions on Monday regarding no-cost overage of preventive health services under the Affordable Care Act. Among them: Group health plans and issuers must cover, without cost sharing, at least one form of each of 18 methods Food and Drug Administration-approved birth control methods for women. Kudos to my colleague Christine Roberts for providing in-depth coverage of the FAQs in her E is for ERISA blog.



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