One Last Dead Horse To Beat — The EEOC And Health Care Providers

Forgive me this once for beating a dead horse again, but the dead horses keep coming!  I mean the “dead horse” which I have kept beating and beating for years — the never ending flow of EEOC lawsuits under the ADA which target medical or health care providers.  Why won’t these medical folks ever learn?Doctor, Lady, Examine, Child, Kid

Three new lawsuits were filed by the EEOC against health care companies or providers, but a quote from an EEOC attorney in one of the cases caught my eye because — well, you know.

A Texas hospital allegedly fired a patient care technician who injured her back lifting and transporting patients – a job requirement.  She asked for a “reasonable accommodation” — a transfer to a job that did not require heavy lifting.  The hospital allegedly did not transfer her to other open positions which it admitted that she was qualified for, firing her instead.

An EEOC attorney confirmed what we have always seen as obvious: that health care or medical providers are especially nice targets for the EEOC in cases alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, because, for no other reason, the EEOC can appear heroic and get good PR:   “Here is a case in which a hospital, which is in the business of caring for patients, has denied one of its own employees an equally attentive level of care. The request by [plaintiff] to continue as a productive employee was an excellent opportunity for the hospital to demonstrate its commitment to staff whose disabilities do not prevent them from performing valuable functions (emphasis added).”

Hospitals and health care companies:  from now on you are on your own!


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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]