EEOC Sues Defense Contractor Under ADA For Not Letting Depressed Worker Resume Working

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is picking up the pace in litigation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

In another ADA lawsuit announced last week, the agency said it is suing L-3 Communications, a large defense contractor with facilities in Texas, for allegedly refusing to allow a senior manufacturing engineer to return to work following leave related to depression and subsequently forced him to resign because of his disability.

This is a case where, if the EEOC is to be believed, the engineer was twice cleared to return to work-including by the company’s doctor–but the company was stubborn in refusing to allow him to resume work.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the engineer worked successfully for L-3 Communications after being hired in 2008. In late 2014, he suffered two major depressive episodes at work and went on medical leave. After receiving treatment, he was returned to work with a full release from his physician, but L-3 Communications insisted that he submit to a fitness-for-duty exam before returning to his position. The psychologist who conducted the exam then indicated that he could safely resume work with accommodations such as additional training and feedback, and recommended that the best long-term outcome would be to return him to a different position. The engineer also asked whether there was a reasonable accommodation that the company could provide that would allow him to return to work. The company failed to consider or provide any reasonable accommodation, and instead gave him the ultimatum that he would either need to resign or be fired.

Read more about the lawsuit here.


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