DALLAS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Dec. 1 that AccentCare Inc., a Dallas home health care company, will pay $25,000 after allegations of disability discrimination against an employee with bipolar disorder.
According to the EEOC, an IT analyst at AccentCare informed the company she has bipolar disorder. The employee asked to take leave so she could visit her health care provider. In response to learning of her disability and her request for leave, AccentCare purportedly fired her. Conduct of this nature violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"It has always been our contention that AccentCare demonstrated a reckless disregard for the federally protected rights of this valuable employee, rather than carefully considering her request for leave to see her doctor," said EEOC senior trial attorney Joel Clark.
In addition to the monetary penalty, AccentCare must institute training policies related to the ADA for employees.
"We would expect that employers in the health care field would be keenly aware of the importance of supporting the medical needs of their employees by allowing reasonable time that may be required for treatment,” said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC's Dallas District Office. “We are pleased with the resolution of this case."