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ADA Blog

 

ADA Blog #162

#Regional Medical Center Rescinds Job Offer Because of Perceived #Disability and #EEOC Files #Discrimination Charges

It’s unfortunate that more than 20 years after the enactment of the ADA, many employers hold impairments against applicants when those impairments don't inhibit their ability to perform the jobs they seek.

#Presbyterian Healthcare Associates Corp., one of the largest health care institutions in North Carolina, has been sued by the EEOC by refusing to hire an applicant for a #phlebotomist position because of an impairment to his left knee.

According to the EEOC's complaint, the applicant has a permanent physical impairment of his left knee as a result of a knee injury.  In 2009, he received medical clearance to participate in a phlebotomist training program at a community college in Charlotte.   As part of the program, he completed a seven-week phlebotomist internship with Presbyterian Healthcare.   On completion of the program, he applied for and was offered a permanent position with Presbyterian Healthcare as a phlebotomist, pending a health screening exam.  This man disclosed the knee impairment during the health screening and provided Presbyterian Healthcare with his related medical records, and then the company rescinded its job offer.  According to the EEOC, this candidate was fully qualified for the position and could perform its duties, but was denied hire simply because Presbyterian Healthcare perceived him to be disabled as a result of his knee injury.

This type of alleged conduct violates the #ADA. Employees and applicants are protected from discrimination based on real or perceived disabilities.  The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.

According to company information, Presbyterian Healthcare Associates Corp. is a private regional medical center that operates Presbyterian Hospital and four other general hospitals in Charlotte and surrounding areas.   The company also maintains a network of primary care and specialty physicians and operates numerous outpatient centers, urgent care clinics and other ancillary facilities.  Presbyterian employs more than 9,000 people.

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities  identified by the EEOC's  Strategic  Enforcement Plan (#SEP).

 

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.