Hospital Fired Employee With Cognitive Disabilities Rather Than Reasonably Accommodate Her, Federal Agency Charged
CHICAGO - St. Alexius Medical Center of Hoffman Estates will pay $125,000 to a former employee as part of a two-year consent decree resolving a civil rights suit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide a disabled employee, who worked as a greeter, with reasonable accommodations which would have allowed her to do her job and by terminating the employee instead. The former employee suffers from cognitive disabilities, and, according to the agency, she asked for simple accommodations such as written job instructions which would have allowed her to do her job.
The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. St. Alexius Medical Center, Civil Action No. 12-cv-7646, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation resolution through its conciliation process. U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman entered the decree resolving the suit. In addition to monetary relief for the former employee, the decree requires the hospital to provide training to its managers and other employees about the ADA, implement policies against disability discrimination, and imposes record-keeping and reporting requirements for the duration of the decree, among other measures.
"The EEOC is hopeful that the measures required by the decree will prevent future disability discrimination by the hospital such as we saw in this case," said John C. Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney for the Chicago District.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.