EEOC Sues Charter Senior Living for Disability Discrimination

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

Senior Living Home Discharged Employee Due to Her Disability, Federal Agency Alleges

SYLVANIA, OH—Charter Senior Living, LLC, which operates living communities for seniors, has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discharging an employee because she has nerve damage. The employee worked at Charter Senior Living Oak Openings in Sylvania, Ohio, where there are approximately 60 employees.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Charter Senior Living violated the ADA by removing one of its caregivers from the schedule because she has nerve damage in her right hand. The company sent her for a second physical when it learned she had nerve damage. The medical examiner completing the assessment concluded the employee met the physical standards of the examination, but declined to pass the employee unconditionally due to her nerve damage. Charter Senior Living refused to let the caregiver return to work without evaluating how her nerve damage impacted her ability to continue working as a caregiver.

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). The EEOC is seeking monetary relief for the employee and an injunction prohibiting the company from engaging in this type of conduct in the future.

“Firing an employee based on stereotypes regarding a physical impairment violates the ADA,” explained Nedra Campbell, Trial Attorney for the EEOC. “Charter Senior Living failed to conduct an individualized inquiry into whether this employee could continue to perform her job despite her nerve damage,” she added.

Charter Senior Living, LLC provides seniors with retirement living, assisted living, and memory care in its 24 communities throughout primarily the Midwest and South. The company has approximately 1,000 employees.

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

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site 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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