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Community Hospital to Pay $142,000 in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement

December 8, 2009

In recent employment and labor news, our Anaheim Employment Attorneys have been following The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) announcement of the $142,000 disability discrimination lawsuit settlement between Hudson Valley Hospital Center, and Gorianne Romano, a nurse with diabetes.

The lawsuit accused the hospital of discriminating against Romano based on her disability--Type I "brittle" diabetes, after Romano reportedly experienced a diabetic coma from her condition, and was treated there.

According to the EEOC, Romano's doctor requested that she needed a consistent schedule to help her gain control over her diabetes. As a part-time employee health nurse, Romano requested to work three days in a row, as opposed to alternating days. The hospital failed to grant Romano a reasonable accommodation for a flexible schedule, stating that it unduly disrupted the hospital's business operations. The EEOC charged that the hospital was endangering Romano's health--and effectively terminating her employment--by failing to accommodate her modified work request.

By failing to grant a reasonable accommodation, and terminating Romano's employment, the hospital violated Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)--which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals based on disabilities in the workplace. The EEOC claimed that if the hospital had fulfilled its legal obligation to find a reasonable accommodation for Romano's diabetes, this lawsuit could have been avoided.

Romano will be paid $142,000 in compensatory damages and back pay, and for the payment of her attorneys' fees. The Hudson Valley Hospital agreed to a consent decree that prohibits the hospital from engaging in any disability discrimination or retaliation in the future.

If you or someone you know in Orange County or throughout Southern California has experienced disability discrimination or wrongful termination in the workplace, our experienced team of Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys can help find a solution for your recovery. Contact us today.

Hudson Valley Hospital to Pay $142,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit, EEOC Press Release, December 4, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act, EEOC

Questions and Answers About Diabetes in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), EEOC