ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) —The U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Nov. 1 against Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for allegations of discriminating against an employee who requested leave due to a medical condition.

"An employer cannot discharge an employee because that employee has an actual or perceived disability or because she sought a reasonable accommodation," said Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. "The employee here sought to exercise her rights under the ADA to receive a reasonable accommodation, but instead of accommodating her, the hospital simply kicked her out the door. Such conduct violates federal law, and the EEOC is here to stand up for the victims of such thoughtless discrimination."

Wendy Kelly was a medical records analyst at Phoebe Putney. In May 2016 she requested reasonable accommodation for her medical condition in the form of two weeks of medical leave. A doctor has allegedly restricted her from working during that time. The EEOC says instead of accommodating Kelly, Phoebe Putney discharged her.

"The EEOC is committed to stopping workplace disability discrimination in Georgia and across the country,” said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director of the Atlanta office. “An employee should not have to risk being fired when seeking an accommodation under the ADA or because the employer perceives the employee as disabled."

The EEOC seeks reinstatement, back pay, front pay, and compensatory and punitive damages for Kelly. The agency also seeks injunctive relief to bar the hospital from future discrimination.

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