The EEOC has settled another ADA leave as a reasonable accommodation case.
Princeton HealthCare System, which operates the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro and several other medical facilities, will pay $1.35 million and will undertake significant remedial measures to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit alleged that the hospital’s fixed leave policy failed to consider leave as a reasonable accommodation, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the EEOC, Princeton HealthCare’s leave policy merely tracked the requirements of the federal Family Medical Leave Act and employee leaves were limited to a maximum of 12 weeks. The policy meant that employees who were not eligible for leave were fired after being absent for a short time, and many more were fired once they were out more than 12 weeks.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey after attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Under the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert, the hospital is prohibited from having a blanket policy that limits the amount of leave time an employee covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act may take.
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Princeton HealthCare also agreed that it will not subject employees to progressive discipline for ADA-related absences, and will provide training on the Americans with Disabilities Act to its workforce. (link)