MILWAUKEE -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Rogers Memorial Hospital, Inc., a Wisconsin-licensed, private, not-for-profit psychiatric system with three hospital campuses in the greater Milwaukee area (Brown Deer, Oconomowoc and West Allis), have reached a voluntary conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of disability discrimination raised by a former employee at its Oconomowoc location, the federal agency said today.
Following an investigation, the EEOC had found reasonable cause to believe that Rogers discriminated against an employee because of her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the EEOC determined that Rogers violated the ADA when it terminated an employee based on her disability after failing to provide her with a reasonable accommodation.
In July 2018, this employee was diagnosed with a medical condition. Her medical treatment required that she take leave shortly after her diagnosis. She requested an extended medical leave of absence as an accommodation for continued breast cancer treatment. Though Rogers provided the employee with leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and an additional two weeks of leave when her FMLA expired, the EEOC determined that Rogers failed to engage in the required interactive process and therefore failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation.
As part of the agreement resolving the EEOC's findings, Rogers has agreed to correct its practices moving forward and foster a more inclusive workforce for all employees by implementing a wide range of non-monetary measures such as ADA training and compliance for key decision makers. By taking these steps, Rogers hopes to educate its workforce about the valuable contributions that individuals with medical conditions and/or disabilities make in the workplace.
"Rogers is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and to complying with all applicable equal employment opportunity laws and regulations," said Paul Mueller, CEO of Rogers Memorial Hospital, Inc. "Although we disagree that there was any violation of law in this instance, we are happy to work collaboratively with the EEOC to bring this matter to a close and to revamp our procedures to ensure that we are hiring and maintaining the best possible employees to provide the best possible care."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.