Kindred at Home’s decision to place an employee with a health condition on unpaid leave without benefits for four months will cost the company $160,000 as part of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Gentiva Health Services in Atlanta, doing business as Kindred at Home, agreed to settle the lawsuit. The employee, who had a condition causing toe-joint pain in both feet, had asked to telecommute for three weeks in keeping with her doctor’s recommendation to stay off her feet. After agreeing to this, Kindred reversed its decision and placed her on unpaid leave, despite her being able to perform essential job functions, according to EEOC.
“In the absence of undue hardship, an employer’s refusal to accommodate its employee with a limited period of telework where the employee has demonstrated the ability to perform the essential functions of the position from home violates the law,” said Robert Weisberg, acting regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office.