What's Wrong With These Health Care Folks? Haven't They Heard of the ADA?

Ok, these cases are becoming so frequent that it’s now about time to start a new blog called “Health Care Providers and The Americans With Disabilities Act.”  The ADA.

What am I talking about?

The EEOC’s seemingly insatiable targeting of health care providers for alleged violations of the ADA.  See my numerous posts, as recently as last week.

I won’t spend much time on this latest $30,000 settlement by Texas medical providers Pulmonary Specialists of Tyler and Sleep Health, but suffice it to say that the EEOC charged that “required employees to complete a Medical Questionnaire that contained unlawful medical inquiries that were not job related nor required by business necessity.”

Such as?

“The EEOC alleged that the medical questionnaire asked if employees had any of over 20 listed medical conditions, whether the employee had an impairment or disability, whether the employee had previous surgery or received a permanent disability rating.”

Man, that sounds like it violates the ADA. Right?

But there’s more.

An employee truthfully answered the questions and reported that she had previously had a work-related back surgery and had a permanent partial disability rating. However, none of this affected her ability to perform the job duties of Billing/Collections Specialist.

So, what happened?

She was fired a week later.

The EEOC quite rightly noted that the questionnaire violated the ADA, and that the firing was just another ADA violation.

Ya think?

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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]