EEOC: Hospital Cannot Refuse to Hire "Latex Glove Allergic" Employees

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Just when you thought you had heard it all when it comes to discrimination claims, it has been recently reported that a California hospital system settled a discrimination suit involving their refusal to hire workers who were severely allergic to latex. The suit was originally filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

John Muir Health, which admitted no liability in the settlement, is paying about $340,000 to resolve the monetary damages component, and further agreeing to special procedures in its hiring practices to resolve the procedures component of the case. The EEOC claimed that John Muir's campuses in Walnut Creek and Concord, California, in 2004 refused to hire seven nurses and one lab technician who were believed to have had severe latex allergies that prevented them from working at the facilities. The individuals' offers of employment were withdrawn after independent doctors hired to conduct pre-employment screening determined that the applicants had severe latex allergies.

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