Hospital housekeeping services sued by EEOC for disability discrimination | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Company fired workers with disabilities due to inability to pass essential duties test, federal agency charges
Fort Smith, Ark. -Hospital Housekeeping Services (HHS) violated federal law by firing employees who failed its Essential Functions Test (EFT) because of their disability, despite their ability to perform their jobs, the Equality Commission has charged employment opportunities in a lawsuit filed today. The lawsuit alleges that EFT eliminated people with disabilities.
According to the EEOC lawsuit, around 2015, HHS began requiring its employees to take EFT upon hire, annually, and upon returning from medical leave. When the employees failed part of the EFT, HHS terminated their employment. In all cases, the employees successfully performed the essential functions of their jobs even if they did not pass the EFT, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division, Civil Action #2: 21-cv-02134, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. through its conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks monetary relief in the form of back wages and compensatory damages, as well as an injunction against future discrimination.
“Firing employees with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of their jobs violates the ADA. The EEOC will aggressively advocate for the rights of employees with disabilities to successfully work in an environment that promotes that employee’s work abilities,” said Edmond Sims, Acting District Manager of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, who has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and parts. from Mississippi. “Employees with disabilities are an essential part of the workforce.”
Based in Dripping Springs, Texas, HHS operates in hospitals in approximately 30 states across the United States to provide housekeeping, maintenance and dietary services. Additionally, HHS operates housekeeping services at facilities in Fort Smith, Helena-West Helena, Forrest City, and Little Rock, Arkansas and in Memphis, Dyersburg, and Clarksville, Tennessee, and Olive Branch, Mississippi.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.