File this one under “Ironic.” A Hamilton-based health care company whose motto is “The people with a heart” has had to settle an EEOC lawsuit that charged it with illegally firing a disabled employee.
Personal Touch Home Healthcare, which provides in-home care to clients nationwide, has agreed to pay $35,000 to former employee Pamela Calfee to settle the disability-discrimination suit. The EEOC claimed Personal Touch fired Calfee because of her disabilities, which included renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Despite those ailments, the EEOC maintains Calfee performed her job well.
The ADA makes it illegal to fire employees based on their medical conditions, unless those conditions affect the employee’s ability to perform their jobs. Even then, employers must explore reasonable accommodations that would allow the employee to continue working.
Under the terms of a two-year consent decree, Personal Touch must train its managers and supervisors about their obligations under the ADA.
- New House bill: 5 paid sick days to workers sent home for H1N1
- Warn bosses: One wisecrack can mean trouble
- Trauma of being fired won't extend FMLA rights
- Found liable for discrimination? You'll owe back pay, even if fired worker starts a new business
- Memo to managers: Don't embellish reason why employee was terminated