U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Maxim to Pay $160,000 to Estate of Former Employee
MINNEAPOLIS – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that a federal court has approved a consent decree between the EEOC and Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., which resolves the EEOC’s disability discrimination lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleged that Maxim had failed to provide reasonable accommodations and ultimately discharged Anne Whitledge, director of clinical services, because she had brain cancer. The lawsuit is captioned, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Larry Williams as Trustee and Personal Representative of the Estate of Anne Marie Alderson Whitledge, decedent, v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., Civil No. 10-03998 (JNE/JSM).
Under the decree, Maxim will pay $160,000 to Whitledge’s estate. In addition, Maxim agrees to conduct anti-discrimination training and monitor complaints in the Minneapolis facility, where Whitledge worked, as well as in the five other Maxim facilities that were under some of the same management. Specifically, the three-year decree provides that in those locations:
“This was a heartbreaking case,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Chicago District. “Anne Whitledge battled cancer and lost the job she loved because of it. Ultimately, Anne lost her battle to cancer. The EEOC is proud that it helped her wage the battle against the fears and stereotypes that some employers maintain about the ability of people with cancer to perform their job.”
The EEOC’s litigation efforts were led by trial attorneys Laurie Vasichek, Nick Pladson, and Jessica Palmer-Denig of the EEOC’s Minneapolis Area Office, and supervised by Associate Regional Attorney Jean Kamp of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office. The EEOC’s Chicago District office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.