CAMDEN, N.J. - The U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) announced today that Cooper University Health Care has implemented policy changes that strengthen its processes for addressing reasonable accommodations for employees who must be absent from work due to serious medical conditions. Cooper has also agreed to pay $500,000 to former employees to amicably resolve disputes over the extent of reasonable accommodations previously granted.
"The EEOC is committed to enforcing the Americans with Disability Act," said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., whose office oversees Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. "Cooper's agreement to enter into this voluntary settlement signifies its commitment to provide reasonable accommodations as required by the ADA."
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence added, "We commend Cooper for engaging in a constructive and successful conciliation process and for recognizing that some of its employees were entitled to additional accommodations under the ADA, and stepping up to do the right thing. Its actions should be emulated by employers nationwide."
Adrienne Kirby, president and chief executive officer of Cooper University Health Care, said, "Cooper strives to be a workplace of choice, and is proud of having been recognized as one of the best places to work in the region. We remain fully committed to compliance with all of our responsibilities under the ADA."
One of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) is for the Commission to address emerging and developing issues in equal employment law, including issues involving the ADA and pregnancy-related limitations, among other possible issues.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the ADA. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.