CHICAGO - Presence Health, the largest Catholic healthcare system in Illinois, has agreed to pay $500,000 to conciliate complaints filed with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), the agency announced today.
The conciliation, a voluntary resolution of the complaint, results from a multiyear EEOC investigation which found that three Presence Health hospitals discriminated against disabled employees. The discrimination occurred when Presence Health failed to return employees on medical leaves to their positions and/or failed to reassign them to other positions, for which they were qualified. Instead, Presence Health terminated the employees or placed them on disability leave.
The conciliation not only provides monetary relief to those who have already been discriminated against, but also ensures the company will take proactive measures to prevent discrimination from occurring in the future. For the next three years, Presence Health will conduct annual ADA training at three of its Chicagoland locations, revise and disseminate its ADA and reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, report to EEOC regarding disabled employees who were seeking re-employment and/or re-hire, and post an internal notification to its employees of this conciliation.
"This resolution is an excellent result for all of Presence Health, including former employees who will receive compensation, and current employees who we expect will see improved leave and accommodation processes," said Julianne Bowman, director of EEOC's Chicago District Office. "We are pleased that Presence Health was willing to work with EEOC to improve its ADA compliance practices, and we are confident that by doing so Presence will be rewarded by retaining experienced and dedicated employees."
Presence Health denied the allegations but agreed to conciliate the matter with EEOC and a class of individuals, including the individuals who filed charges.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing the nation's laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and retaliation. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.