Dialysis Clinic Agrees to $190,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Case

A nationwide healthcare provider has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit in its Sacramento, California location where a long-time nurse alleged that the company fired her and refused to re-hire her when she needed further time off to complete treatment for breast cancer.

The Plaintiff’s Story

Fracisca Lee worked at Dialysis Clinic, Inc.’s Sacramento Southgate location for 14 years when she was forced to take leave for mastectomy surgery and chemotherapy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Four months into the treatment the clinic notified Lee by mail that she was being terminated for exceeding the time allotted by the company’s medical leave policy. When Lee allegedly informed the company that she would be able to return to full duty within two months the clinic told her she would need to re-apply for open positions. When she did so her application was rejected and a new nurse was hired. Lee filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Charge and the EEOC prosecuted the case.

Clinic Violated the Most Basic Principles of Disability Discrimination Law

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires (among other things) that employers reasonably accommodate employees with qualifying disabilities. One such accommodation is extended medical leave. When the company fired Lee and refused to re-hire her it placed itself in a position where it likely violated the ADA and other state anti-discrimination laws. What is most disturbing about this case is the company should have known this was the case, and now is $190,000 in the red due to its gross misconduct.

Basic Disability Discrimination Training Could Have Prevented this Lawsuit

Dialysis Clinic is a nonprofit corporation that operates in 27 states and has over 5,000 employees. A company this size is always at risk for violating disability discrimination laws, and clearly stands to benefit from routine and regular training to ensure that managers and employees are complying with their obligations under the federal law and state laws in which they operate. Indeed, focused online training can assist managers in making the right decisions with respect to accommodating disabilities, ensuring that employees with disabilities are not passed over for open positions, and many other issues that routinely come up in day-to-day operation.

Syntrio has developed cost and time-effective methods of instructing managers on the ins and outs of the complicated employment discrimination laws, and illustrate the nuances of those laws through engaging hypothetical and real-life scenarios. Our courses are thought provoking and engaging, and leave managers with a renewed sense of confidence that they will make the right decision should a situation arise.

Indeed, Syntrio is committed to helping employers avoid the costly mistakes (and associated litigation) that are associated with complicated areas of employment law like disability discrimination. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact www.syntrio.com for more information about our disability discrimination for management and remember to follow us on TwitterGoogle Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on employment law and compliance issues that may impact your company!


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