MedStar accused of refusing to accommodate worker who suffered on-the-job injury

By Marian Johns | Sep 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government is suing Washington Hospital Center Corporation DBA MedStar Washington Hospital and MedStar Health, Inc., (together MedStar) for allegedly refusing to accommodate an employee who suffered a knee injury while on the job. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against MedStar in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging the hospital did not reassign or allow accommodation to a patient care technician who sustained an injury, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

According to the EEOC, the worker was told she could no longer work in her department, and when she applied for other positions for which she was qualified, she was made to compete with other applicants instead of being reassigned to one of the other positions because she might need future knee surgery.

"This employer's refusal to bring [the employee] back to work because she might need future surgery is inexcusable," EEOC Washington Field Office acting director Mindy Weinstein said in a statement.  "A company cannot deny employment opportunities to an employee with a disability because it anticipates it may have to accommodate her in the future. The EEOC is committed to enforcing disability discrimination law.

The EEOC seeks permanent injunctive relief that prohibits MedStar from future discrimination against its employees and seeks lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages. 

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