by Amy Epstein Gluck
Originally published: September 14, 2017
“I provided medical leave for Joe Schmoe [or Sally Jessie]. Aren’t I done? Haven’t I complied with the law?”
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the federal anti-discrimination laws, announced a large (i.e., six figures) monetary settlement against an employer—a large medical center that provides surgical services.
According to the EEOC suit, the medical center provided sick leave to one of its nurses to have surgery. So far, so good. However, right before her leave expired, this nurse requested a reasonable accommodation of an extension of her leave, or to return to work on light duty. Her doctor and physical therapist supported this request. However, her employer refused both additional requests for either accommodation, failed to engage in any interactive process with the nurse to try to reach a solution with her, and terminated her—after 36 years on the job. You can read about the settlement here.