Health Care Provider Fired Employee With Seizure Disorder Despite Doctor's Clearance, Federal Agency Charges
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Correct Care Solutions, LLC, a Kansas corporation that provides medical services to incarcerated people in correctional institutions nationwide, discriminated against an employee with a disability when it forced her to take medical leave and then unlawfully discharged her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to EEOC's complaint, Kevicia D. Cody was hired by Correct Care as a licensed practical nurse on or about April 2, 2012 to work at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia. Around April 2010, Cody began experiencing seizures, which are currently controlled by medication. According to EEOC, Cody's seizures qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Around Jan. 3, 2013, Correct Care learned about Cody's seizure disorder. After Correct Care learned about Cody's disability, the company's director of nursing required Cody to provide medical clearance in order to continue working for the company. Later the same day, Cody provided a note from her treating physician clearing her to return to work with certain restrictions related to her disability. According to the complaint, Cody's medical restrictions did not affect her ability to perform her job duties. However, Correct Care did not allow Cody to return to work. EEOC said that Correct Care placed Cody on unpaid medical leave and ultimately discharged her on Jan. 30, 2013, because of her disability.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects employees from discrimination based on their disabilities. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC; Civil Action No.: 3:15-CV-04655-MGL-TER) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.
"Although EEOC has made great strides in educating employers and the public about disability discrimination, some employers still judge employees based on a disability rather than on their proven ability to do a job," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District. "EEOC will continue to fight for the rights of people victimized by such prejudices."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.