An American with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit brought against the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHHCG) will result in JHHCG paying $160,000 in lost and compensatory wages to an employee who was allegedly discriminated against after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.
Ray Ellen Fisher was employed as a pediatric case worker with JHHCG since 2003. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment, Fisher returned to work where JHHCG failed to accommodate her limited work restrictions. After she filed a discrimination charge, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against JHHCG. Fisher faced retaliatory adverse employment actions and was ultimately fired, said an article from the EEOC.
The ADA protects employees from discrimination because of their disability and also protects against retaliation for exercising rights against disability discrimination. The filing of lawsuit by EEOC has helped efforts to enforce JHHCG’s adherence to ADA standards.
“The Commission has devoted considerable effort to ensuring compliance with the ADA through the issuance of policy and public education,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. “As this case demonstrates, the EEOC will work to ensure that the employment of persons with disabilities such as cancer will not be compromised because of disability.”
In response to the allegations, JHHCG says, “While we strongly believe we did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and in fact made reasonable accommodations for Ms. Fisher, in the interest of resolving the case quickly and to avoid a protracted lawsuit, we decided to settle. Our decision to settle out of court should not be viewed or interpreted as an admission of any wrongdoing on our part.”
Additionally, JHHCG will draw up a modified ADA accommodation policy and provide training to human resource personnel and managers on providing reasonable accommodation and upholding its obligations under the ADA.
Written by Erin Hegarty