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Press Release 06-20-2023

Community Hospital Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Indiana Hospital Failed to Transfer Injured Nurse to a Vacant Job She Could Perform And Fired Her Instead, Federal Agency Charges

INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a suit it filed against Munster Medical Research Foundation, Inc., operators of Community Hospital, located in Munster, Indiana, for failing to accommodate an employee with a disability.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charges that Community Hospital determined that the employee, a registered nurse, could not return to her job after a work injury resulted in lifting restrictions. The employee expressed interest in several jobs she could have performed with her lifting restrictions, but Community Hospital failed to transfer her to a vacant position for which she was qualified, the EEOC said. Community Hospital then terminated the injured employee because she could not return to her prior job, according to the lawsuit.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that employers reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and includes reassignment to vacant positions as a possible accommodation.

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Munster Medical Research Foundation, Inc., d/b/a Community Hospital, Case No. 2:23-cv-00201) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and other relief from the hospital, including a permanent injunction preventing it from engaging in future disability discrimination and refusing to accommodate emp­loyees with disabilities.

“The EEOC is committed to enforcing the ADA and removing barriers to employment for qualified employees with disabilities,” said Michelle Eisele, district director for the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office.

EEOC Indianapolis District Office Regional Attorney Kenneth L. Bird added, “The ADA requires an employer to provide employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations that will allow them to perform their essential job duties. When an employee can no longer perform the essential duties of her current job, the ADA provides that reassignment to a vacant position may be a reasonable accommodation. The EEOC is ready to step in to enforce disability discrimination law.”

For more information on disability discrimination, please visit

The Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.