EEOC And Cooper University Health Care Reach Accord on Reasonable Accommodation Issues

CAMDEN, N.J.  - The U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) announced today that Cooper  University Health Care has implemented policy changes that strengthen its  processes for addressing reasonable accommodations for employees who must be  absent from work due to serious medical conditions. Cooper has also  agreed to pay $500,000 to former employees to amicably resolve disputes over  the extent of reasonable accommodations previously granted.

"The EEOC is  committed to enforcing the Americans with Disability Act," said EEOC  Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., whose office oversees  Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and parts of New Jersey and  Ohio.  "Cooper's agreement to enter into  this voluntary settlement signifies its commitment to provide reasonable  accommodations as required by the ADA."

EEOC Regional  Attorney Debra Lawrence added, "We commend Cooper for engaging in a constructive  and successful conciliation process and for recognizing that some of its  employees were entitled to additional accommodations under the ADA, and  stepping up to do the right thing.  Its  actions should be emulated by employers nationwide."

Adrienne Kirby, president and chief  executive officer of Cooper University Health Care, said, "Cooper strives  to be a workplace of choice, and is proud of  having been recognized as one of the best places to work in the  region.  We remain fully committed to compliance with all  of our responsibilities under the ADA."

One of the six national priorities  identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) is for the  Commission to address emerging and developing issues in equal employment law,  including issues involving the ADA and pregnancy-related limitations, among  other possible issues.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the ADA.  The EEOC is  responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.  Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.