Refused to Rehire Employee with Record of Disability, Federal Agency Charged
DETROIT – A Saginaw, Mich.-based health services provider will pay $45,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Health Delivery, Inc. unlawfully refused to return to work an employee with a record of depression even though she had completed a course of treatment and had been approved to return to work.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Case No. 2:09-cv-13837 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan), Linda Perry was a capable nurse for more than five years with Health Delivery, but the company refused to return her to work after a leave of absence because of her history of major depression. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
As part of the consent decree resolving the suit (entered by Judge Thomas L. Ludington), Health Delivery will pay $45,000 to Perry. Health Delivery also agreed to implement disability discrimination policy changes and to provide training to all of its management and supervisory employees regarding the ADA.
“We are pleased with the relief provided by the consent decree,” said Dale Price, the EEOC attorney who handled the case. “It provides meaningful relief to Ms. Perry and protections for the employees of Health Delivery. It also reminds employers that they cannot make employment decisions based on fears and stereotypes about people with mental illness.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.