According to the agency’s lawsuit, Kaiser Permanente hired the former employee in June, 2008 as a food service worker at its San Diego Medical Center Facility in California. The employee has a medical condition, hydrocephalus.
The EEOC has further stated that since the worker is quite aware of his memory difficulty and concentration problem as a result of his medical condition, he requested for additional training time and the assistance of a temporary job coach, so that he might effectively learn his job and perform his duties.
Fortunately for the said worker, Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a non-profit organization in San Diego specializing in assisting people with disability, offered to provide him the temporary job coaching services free of charge. Thus, both the worker and the employer have nothing to worry about since it is a free service. However, Kaiser refused to grant the worker’s reasonable accommodation request and instead opted to terminate him on August, 2008, the agency claimed.
Due to the alleged misconduct, the EEOC had found a reasonable cause to file a disability discrimination lawsuit against Kaiser before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Obviously, it was a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The EEOC is seeking for back wage, compensatory and punitive damages for the former worker in its lawsuit. Also, it prays for an injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the healthcare facility.
In order to avoid disruptions to business operations as a result of wrongful termination in California lawsuit and other employment discrimination complaints, employers need to start exploring the most effective ways to provide reasonable accommodation to workers with disability to give them a chance to be fully successful on their job, noted by the labor lawyer herein. He also noted that such accommodations are often free of charge or only at a minimal cost if not free.