Hospital Fired Nurse Because of Her Seizure Disorder, Federal Agency Charged
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Physicians' Specialty Hospital, a physician-owned hospital in Fayetteville, Ark., will pay $35,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
EEOC's lawsuit challenged Physicians' Specialty Hospital's refusal to accommodate a nurse's disability following a seizure. The nurse requested to move to another position that did not involve direct patient care, or, in the alternative, a leave of absence until she could resume her nursing duties. Instead of providing the accommodations, the hospital fired her a few days later.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is unlawful to deny a qualified individual with a disability a reasonable accommodation, and it is also unlawful to fire such a person because the individual needs an accommodation. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Physicians Specialty Hospital, Civil Action No. 5:15-CV-05237PKH) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"Ensuring that people with disabilities have equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace is central to the ADA," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. "EEOC remains committed to fighting disability discrimination."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.