EEOC: Health Center Leave Policy Violated ADA

Having a too strict leave policy is a red flag that could ensnare the employer in a disability discrimination lawsuit.

A Michigan-based federally funded health center will pay $31,000 to settle an ADA lawsuit over its denial of extended unpaid leave to an employee following his surgery, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today.

According to the EEOCA , Downriver Community Services, headquartered in New Haven, Michigan, refused to extend additional unpaid leave to a peer counselor after surgery for a herniated disc, fired her based on her disability, and then refused to rehire her.

“The goal of (Title I of) the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Dale Price. “Employers must make decisions based on the law and an employee’s ability to do the job, not on stereotypes and assumptions.”

Enough said. But if you need a refresher on the ADA’s requirement of reasonable accommodation, the EEOC has a web page just for you.

Here’s more on the lawsuit and settlement.

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