In early February, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Heritage Home Group, LLC. According to the lawsuit, the North Carolina-based corporation terminated a worker after he informed the company that he needed additional disability leave. This could have repercussions for California employees who are disabled.
The worker was hired in October 2015. The man, who was diabetic, reportedly underwent an operation to amputate a toe after he developed an infection in March 2016. He was then subsequently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and needed additional time off to recover. He notified Heritage Home in early April 2016 that he anticipated that he would return to work at the end of the month. However, on the 29th of that month, Heritage Home notified the worker that his employment was terminated due to his need for additional recovery time.
According to the EEOC, the termination of the worker's employment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled workers unless it would cause the company undue hardship. The EEOC filed the lawsuit after a pre-litigation settlement was not reached.
Although discrimination against disabled workers is illegal, there are employers who may attempt to deny them the accommodations they need. If an employee is fired after the employer refuses to accommodate the disability, the employee may have legal recourse for the workplace discrimination. An employment law attorney could review the case and determine whether it merited the filing of a claim with the EEOC.
Source: National Law Review, "EEOC Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Heritage Home Group", EEOC, Feb. 3, 2018