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EEOC Sues Pediatric Health Services Provider for Discriminating Against Disabled Employee


The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against Zoe Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Health, LLC for allegedly discriminating against a disabled employee. According to the EEOC, Zoe Center violated federal law when it failed to provide an employee a reasonable accommodation based on her disabilities. Zoe Center is alleged to have fired the employee after she requested accommodation to work remotely three days per week. The EEOC contends that, as a web designer, the employee was able to complete all the tasks required of her work remotely. However, the day after the employee made the request, the Zoe Center denied it and terminated her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC contends that the conduct of the healthcare facility violates the provisions of the ADA and filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Columbus Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is attempting to recover back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee as well as forcing the healthcare facility to take active measures that prevent future instances of discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act 

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires all employers to make reasonable accommodations on behalf of employees with disabilities. In other words, if a disabled employee requests a reasonable accommodation, then the employer is required by law to grant that accommodation. The accommodation must, however, be reasonable as defined under the law. The employee must still be able to perform their job duties after being accommodated. In this case, the employee was a web designer who was able to do much of her work remotely and still meet the requirements of her position. Her employer denied her request to work remotely three days a week and then terminated her for making the request. The EEOC noted that the termination came shortly after the employee requested remote work. The employer can argue that they terminated the employee for some other reason, but they will have to explain why the termination came shortly after the request to work remotely.

What is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA? 

Under Title I of the ADA, a reasonable accommodation is defined as a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the process of hiring employees. Such modifications enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to compete for the job and successfully perform the job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities. The ADA requires that employers enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. This includes making reasonable accommodations for an employee whose work quality would not be impacted by working from home.

Talk to an Atlanta, GA Workplace Discrimination Attorney Today 

Forsythe Law Firm, LLC represents the interests of Atlanta, GA employees who have suffered various forms of discrimination in the workplace. Call our Atlanta employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin advocating on your behalf right away.



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