PRINCETON HEALTHCARE PAYS $1.35 MILLION TO SETTLE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION SUIT
Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), which operates an inpatient hospital and several outpatient medical facilities, will pay $1,350,000 and will undertake significant remedial measures to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced June 30, 2014.
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Princeton HealthCare System, Civil Action No.:3:10-cv-04126) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Under the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert, PHCS is prohibited from having a blanket policy that limits the amount of leave time an employee covered by the ADA may take. PHCS must instead engage in an interactive process with covered employees, including employees with a disability related to pregnancy, when deciding how much leave is needed. In addition, PHCS can no longer require employees returning from disability leave to present a fitness for duty certification stating that they are able to return to work without any restrictions. PHCS also agreed that it will not subject employees to progressive discipline for ADA-related absences, and will provide training on the ADA to its workforce.
The EEOC will monitor PHCS’s compliance with the decree over the next four years and will distribute the
$1.35 million to employees who were unlawfully terminated under PHCS’s former policy.