FRESNO — California-based Family Healthcare Network has agreed to a $1.75 million settlement over charges its leave polices allegedly discriminate against employees with pregnancies and disabilities.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which filed a lawsuit against Family Healthcare Network in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California, the company's leave policies did not give reasonable accommodations to employees with a disability or who were pregnant.
The company did not give additional leave time and fired those who were unable to return to work by the end of their leave time, the EEOC said. In some cases Family Healthcare fired employees even before their leave had run out, according to the EEOC.
"We commend the efforts of Family HealthCare Network in resolving this case and providing substantial relief to those affected by the company's policies and practices," EEOC Los Angeles District regional attorney Anna Park said in a statement.
"The EEOC continues to see cases in which employers have a rigid leave policy that discriminates against individuals with disabilities or pregnant employees," added EEOC Fresno local office director Melissa Barrios. "We are encouraged by Family HealthCare's desire to resolve this complaint and put in place policies to ensure that all employees are treated equitably under the law."
The settlement also includes Family Healthcare revising its policies, implementing discrimination and harassment training and establishing a "tracking system" for employee accommodation requests and complaints regarding discrimination, the EEOC said.