Hospital Refused to Accommodate and Then Fired Employee Because of Her Lifting Restrictions, Federal Agency Charges
INDIANAPOLIS - St. Vincent Hospital violated federal law when it failed to transfer an employee to a vacant position for which she was qualified, despite knowing that her restrictions were indefinite, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a suit filed today.
According to the EEOC's complaint, when St. Vincent learned the lifting restrictions caused by Latoya Moore's disabilities were indefinite, St. Vincent required her to take leave at reduced pay, even though Moore was interested in continuing to work. Instead of transferring her to vacant positions she was qualified for and could perform despite her disabilities, St. Vincent later fired her, the EEOC alleged.
The EEOC brought the suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against any individual because of disabilities. Under the ADA, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability unless the employer can demonstrate the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case (EEOC v. St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-3426-RLY-DML) was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division on Sept. 26.
"It's especially distressing when a hospital or other health care operation, of all places, discriminates against an employee because of a health condition," said Kenneth Lee Bird, regional attorney of the Indianapolis District Office. "The EEOC will fight for the victims of disability discrimination."
The EEOC's Indianapolis District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and western Ohio, with Area Offices in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.