The company that operates a nursing home in Charlotte will pay a former employee $50,000 to settle charges it failed to reasonably accommodate her depression.
Sandra, a licensed practical nurse at the Golden Living Center-Dartmouth nursing home, suffered from depression. She experienced a major episode of depression and had to be hospitalized. Her husband called, informed them of the situation and requested a leave of absence.
Three days later, the nursing home denied the request and fired Sandra. She filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that Golden Living violated the ADA when it refused her accommodation.
The parties could not agree to settlement terms during the EEOC-sponsored conciliation process. As a result, the EEOC filed suit on Sandra’s behalf. The nursing home company elected to settle the case rather than go before a jury.
In addition to the money, the nursing home operator agreed to a two-year consent decree that requires it to post its anti-discrimination policies, train managers about reasonable accommodation and post a notice concerning the settlement.
Note: When employers deny accommodation requests without actually determining whether they are reasonable or not, they provide plaintiffs with a slam-dunk case.