WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)
— The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a
lawsuit against MedStar Harbor Hospital for allegations of disability discrimination.
“The law is clear - an
employer must provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's disability
unless the employer can show that doing so would be an undue hardship,” EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said.
Jerome Alston worked as a
respiratory therapist at MedStar. Alston takes a medication that compromises
his immune system and increases risk of an infection due to renal failure and a
kidney transplant that occurred nine years prior to his employment with
MedStar allegedly provided him a “work-around” for the issue, excusing
him from working in negative pressure rooms. In November 2013, although, EEOC
alleges Alston requested such a work-around and was denied and abruptly
"It is disturbing and
ironic when a hospital, which is dedicated to caring for the health of its
patients, ignores the medical concerns of an employee, refuses to even discuss
providing a needed workplace modification and, instead, fires him because of his
disability," said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., district director of EEOC's
Philadelphia District Office.