Hospital That Rescinded Job Offer Over Minor Injury Pays $90K to Settle EEOC’s ADA Lawsuit

It will cost a healthcare company in San Diego $90,000 to get out from under an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit alleging it refused to hire a job applicant because of her perceived disability.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it has settled this ADA lawsuit against Sharp Healthcare.

In this suit filed in September 2015, the EEOC charged that the company denied the applicant a job because she had a minor ankle injury.

According to EEOC, in 2012, Sandra Juarez applied for a surgical scrub technician position at the Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion, a surgical center in San Diego. The applicant was offered the position contingent upon passing a post-offer medical examination. However, EEOC said that Sharp rescinded its employment offer after the exam due to a perceived disability. Sharp regarded Juarez as disabled due to a minor ankle ailment that would not have affected her job performance, EEOC said. After just a few months, the applicant was hired into the same position at another medical facility.

As part of the settlement, Sharp Healthcare also has to retain an external equal employment monitor; review and revise disability accommodation policies and practices to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; provide annual disability discrimination training for employees, supervisors, and managers who are involved in the accommodation process; post an employee notice; and undertake record keeping and reporting to EEOC. Among other things, the external equal employment monitor will review Sharp’s policies and practices and assist Sharp with ADA compliance.

And then there is this observation (warning) by the EEOC:

“We have seen an increase in employers failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes San Diego in its jurisdiction. “We encourage employers to ensure proper training regarding the hiring process to prevent disability discrimination and possible legal liability.”

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