ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Legal
Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has
announced Apria Healthcare Inc. will pay $100,000 after allegations of
Apria, a home medical
provider that offers medical equipment and services, allegedly fired Hilda
Padilla after she came back from medical leave, during which time she had a
23-pound tumor removed. The firing took place roughly one week after Padilla
returned to work.
The company said the firing was due to a reduction in work
force, but it purportedly did not give Padilla notice of the impending layoff,
nor did it eliminate another warehouse clerk’s position. Alleged conduct of
this nature violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“The timing of the
reduction-in-force in this lawsuit was suspect and it was particularly
difficult for Ms. Padilla, who had not yet recovered from surgery,” EEOC
regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill said. “It is important for employees to know they
are entitled to request and avail themselves of reasonable accommodations to
perform their essential job functions without fear of facing termination from
Apria must give Padilla a
letter of apology and a reference letter in addition to the monetary relief. The
company also needs to provide annual ADA training to its employees for the
next three years.
“Employment decisions cannot
be based upon impermissible factors such as an individual's medical condition
or disability,” EEOC Albuquerque area director Derick Newton said. “Instead,
employers must ensure that their decisions are rooted in non-discriminatory and
Organizations in this Story
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M St NW
Washington, DC 20001
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