An Atlanta-based home health agency will pay $160,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, according to an announcement last week from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The lawsuit brought by the EEOC charged that Gentiva Health Services, doing business as Kindred at Home, learned that one of its employees suffered from Morton’s neuroma and capsulitis of the metatarsophalangeal joints of both feet. The employee initially asked to telecommute for three weeks as an accommodation for her disability and in accordance with her doctor’s recommendation to stay off her feet. Kindred originally allowed her to telework for a week but then reversed its decision and unilaterally placed her on unpaid leave without benefits for four months, despite the fact she could perform the essential functions of her job, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Under the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit, Kindred will pay $160,000 in monetary damages to the employee. Kindred also agreed to regular reporting, monitoring, annual training, distribution of ADA policies, and notice posting.