FRESNO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — Magnolia Health Corp., a health care and assisted-living facility company, agreed to pay $325,000 and furnish other relief after allegations of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said.
"The EEOC continues to see employers failing to properly engage in the interactive process or implementing policies that undermine the purpose of the ADA, particularly in the health care industry,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, in a March 8 statement. “We encourage employers to re-examine their leave and attendance policies to ensure compliance with the ADA.”
According to EEOC, Magnolia discriminated against a class of applicants on the basis of their disability. The EEOC first filed the complaint in 2015, claiming the class discrimination had happened since 2012. Magnolia also purportedly denied employees accommodations for their disabilities and refused to hire, or fired, applicants and employees with disabilities. The company would allegedly rescind offers after medical examinations that indicated applicants had a disability.
To resolve the allegations, Magnolia agreed to retain a consultant on ADA and equal employment opportunity who will help the company revise its policies.
"The robust measures agreed to in this decree will assist Magnolia Health in correcting its practices and prevent future discrimination,” said Melissa Barrios, local director for EEOC's Fresno Local Office. “This resolution should send a clear message to employers that they must engage in the interactive process and attempt to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. Failing to do so violates federal law."