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Press Release 09-30-2013

Mercy Hospice to Pay $60,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Employer Unlawfully Fired Nurse With Multiple Sclerosis, Agency Charged

DETROIT - Mercy Hospice, a Troy, Mich., provider of in-home hospice care for terminally ill patients and a member of Trinity Home Health Services, will pay $60,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged that Mercy Hospice engaged in disability discrimination by refusing to allow a nurse with multiple sclerosis to return from a medical leave with restrictions. Instead of accommodating the nurse, Mercy Hospice fired her, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Case No. 4:12-cv-13803) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Under the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, Mercy Hospice will pay $60,000 to the nurse and will conduct training on the ADA for its human resources and management staff.

"Mercy Hospice has taken a positive step toward protecting the rights of disabled employees with disabilities with this resolution," said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie Young.

EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell said, "With training on the ADA, Mercy Hospice should be prepared to protect the rights of disabled employees in the future."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at