Hospital Allegedly Refused Nurse’s Request to Use Cane as an Accommodation

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Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 Written by Editor

Tags: ADA | americans with disabilities ac | disability discrimination | interactive process | reasonable accommodation

According to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Saint Joseph's Hospital violated federal law when it refused to accommodate a nurse's request for a reasonable accommodation, refused to reassign her to a vacant position for which she was qualified and then terminated her. The nurse had worked for the hospital's psychiatric department for approximately 21 years, and had been using a walking cane at work for about two years when the hospital decided that she could no longer use it because, it said, the cane was unsafe and could be used as a weapon. A hospital official told the nurse that if she wanted to continue working, she would have to compete for a new position within the company with all other non-disabled applicants. The EEOC has also charged that the hospital allegedly failed to engage in the interactive process to determine if there was a reasonable accommodation that would allow her to continue working in the Psychiatric Department. The hospital also allegedly failed to reassign her to vacant positions outside of the department for which she was qualified, and then terminated her within 30 days of revoking her use of the cane, when she was not hired for an advertised position. Read More.

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