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Employee Wrongfully Fired Because Of Serious Health Condition EEOC Lawsuit Charges

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Having represented employees who have been wrongfully fired for more than two decades, our Lake County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers know that employees are often fired after disclosing a serious health condition to their employer. In this article, our Leesburg, Florida wrongful termination attorneys explain how a recent disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demonstrates that the federal anti-discrimination laws afford employees protection after they disclose a serious health condition to their employer.

In a press release issued on January 26, 2021, the EEOC announced that it has entered into a Consent Decree with Optimal Solutions & Technologies, Inc. (OST) to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. On September 27, 2017, the EEOC filed the disability discrimination case, U.S. E.E.O.C v. Optimal Solutions & Technologies, Inc., Case No. 8:17-cv-02861, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  In the Consent Decree, which was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Paula Xinis on January 23, 2021, OST agreed to pay $60,000 to resolve the disability discrimination case.

Rights Of Disabled Employees

The EEOC brought the disability discrimination case under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, on behalf of a former employee of OST, Michael Tyson (Tyson). Under the ADA, discrimination against disabled employees is an unlawful employment practice. The ADA protects employees from disability discrimination when they have an actual disability, a record of having a disability, or are regarded or perceived by an employer as having an actual disability. Thus, even if an employee is not, in fact, disabled, the employee is still protected from disability discrimination by the ADA if an employer regards or perceives the employee as disabled. When an employer subjects an employee to an adverse employment action, such as demotion or discharge, because the employer regards or perceives the employee as disabled, the employer has violated the ADA even if the employee is not actually disabled. The EEOC alleges that OST discriminated against Tyson by discharging him because of his actual or perceived disability (brain tumor).

Employee Claims Wrongful Termination

OST is a provider of cyber, engineering, logistics, and managed services. In June 2016, OST hired Tyson as a Senior Sharepoint Administrator at its facility in Hyattsville, Maryland. In August 2016, Tyson informed his supervisor that he had a benign brain tumor, which would require approximately six weeks of radiation treatment in the first week of October 2016. Tyson did not request an accommodation for his serious health condition and explained that treatments would be scheduled after his workday and would not impact his ability to perform his job. The EEOC contends Tyson’s benign brain tumor constitutes an actual disability for purposes of the ADA.

Shortly after Tyson disclosed his serious health condition, Tyson’s supervisor expressed his concerns to Tyson’s co-workers that Tyson would not be able to perform his job because of his medical condition. On September 26, 2016, approximately one week before Tyson was scheduled to begin his radiation treatment, and about one month after Tyson disclosed his tumor, OST fired Tyson. Because Tyson’s supervisor believed that Tyson’s serious health condition would prevent him from doing his job and Tyson was fired approximately one month after disclosing his serious health condition, the EEOC contends that OST fired Tyson because of his benign brain tumor, which constituted an actual disability under the ADA or was regarded or perceived by OST as constituting an actual disability under the ADA.

Lawyers For Employees Wrongfully Fired

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the federal government responsible for interpreting and enforcing the federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In seeking to protect and vindicate employee rights, the EEOC files lawsuits on behalf of employment discrimination victims, including employees discriminated against on the basis of disability.

In a press release issued by the EEOC on January 26, 2021 regarding the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Jamie Williams, explained that “employers should make employment decisions based on a worker’s ability to do the job—not based on unsubstantiated fears about his medical condition.” In commenting on the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Debra M. Lawrence, observed that “this resolution compensates the worker for his losses and contains important remedial measures to protect other workers from disability discrimination.”

Leesburg, FL Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Lake County, Florida wrongful termination attorneys have fought for the rights of employees who have been wrongfully fired for more than twenty years. If you have been wrongfully fired or have questions about your rights as wrongful termination victim under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Leesburg, Florida wrongful termination lawyers. Our employment and labor law attorneys take wrongful termination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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