Operator to pay $325,000 to settle EEOC case

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A California operator of assisted living, memory care, post-acute care and rehabilitation facilities will pay $325,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Wednesday.

The EEOC said it filed the lawsuit against Tulare, CA-based Magnolia Health Corp. in September 2015, claiming that since 2012, Magnolia had discriminated against applicants and employees based on their disability, having a record of a disability or being perceived as having a disability.

Magnolia, according to the commission, denied employees accommodations for their disabilities and would not hire, or fired, applicants and employees who had disabilities or were regarded as having disabilities. The company also rescinded employment offers when applicants' post-offer medical examinations indicated that they had a record of disability or had current medical restrictions, the EEOC said. The commission additionally said that Magnolia required employees to be completely free of medical restrictions to work.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In addition to paying $325,000, Magnolia also has agreed to retain an ADA and equal employment opportunity consultant to revise its policies and procedures with respect to disability discrimination; provide discrimination training to workers, with a focus on disability discrimination; and maintain a centralized system to track all accommodation requests and complaints, the EEOC said. The commission will monitor compliance with a two-year consent decree.

“The robust measures agreed to in this decree will assist Magnolia Health in correcting its practices and prevent future discrimination,” said Melissa Barrios, local director for the EEOC's Fresno local office.

“We encourage employers to re-examine their leave and attendance policies to ensure compliance with the ADA,” added Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District.

A Magnolia representative did not respond to a request for comment by the publication deadline.

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