Charter Senior Living to Pay $31,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Senior Living Home Discharged Employee Even After She Passed a Physical Examination, Federal Agency Alleged

DETROIT — Charter Senior Living, LLC, a family-owned business based in Naperville, Illinois that operates senior living communities primarily in the Midwest and South, will pay $31,750 and provide other relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged that Charter Senior Living violated federal law at its Sylvania, Ohio facility by discharging a caregiver whom it perceived as disabled.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the caregiver passed her pre-employment physical examination and worked for Charter Senior Living for weeks without incident until the director discovered the caregiver had some nerve damage in her right hand. Upon learning of the nerve damage, the company required the caregiver to have another physical examination. The second examiner concluded that the caregiver met the physical standards of the examination but declined to pass the caregiver unconditionally due to her nerve damage. As a result, Charter Senior Living refused to let the caregiver return to work and ultimately fired her without evaluating whether her nerve damage impacted her ability to perform her job duties.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After attempting to reach a pre-litigation resolution through its conciliation process, the EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio (EEOC v. Charter Senior Living, LLC, Case No. 3:21-cv-00708).

In addition to the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the suit provides for injunctive relief, training on the ADA, and compliance-related reporting to the EEOC.

“An employer should never rely on stereotypes about a medical condition when making employment decisions,” explained EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. “Charter Senior Living should be commended for agreeing to a consent decree and committing to ensure employees are treated in accordance with the ADA.”

For more information on disability discrimination, visit https://www.eeoc.gov/disability-discrimination.

The EEOC’s Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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