Six former employees of the University of Chicago Medical Center have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to ChicagoBusiness.com. The former employees claimed they were wrongfully terminated after taking leave for 12 weeks.
The former workers filed the complaints with the EEOC separately between 2008 and 2010. According to the complaints, the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the employees were not permitted 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
“The charges and the EEOC’s investigation to date have shown that the (medical center) may, in violation of the ADA, maintain a blanket policy under which employees are summarily discharged at the expiration of 12 weeks’ leave,” read the EEOC’s official complaint with the U.S. District Court in Chicago.
The EEOC attempted to force the hospital to disclose the contact information for the former managers who terminated the workers. The hospital claimed that disclosing their contact information would violate its attorney-client privilege—an argument the judge rejected. The medical center denies any wrongdoing.
“The statement that the medical center terminates employees after 12 weeks’ leave is untrue,” said a spokeswoman in an email. “Medical center policy provides all such employees more than 12 weeks’ leave and goes above and beyond what’s legally required by providing employees a portion of pay during medical leave.”
When the hospital refused to provide contact information for the managers, it appears it had something to hide. Also, are we supposed to believe that the termination of all 6 of these employees was a coincidence? It sounds like there is a strong case for disability discrimination here.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment law attorneys