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PRESS RELEASE
8-17-11

National HealthCare Corporation Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

Woman Fired Because of Multiple Sclerosis and Bursitis, Federal Agency Charged

ATLANTA – National HealthCare Corporation (NHC), a nationwide  long-term and nursing care provider headquartered in Tennessee  with two facilities in Georgia,  unlawfully discriminated against an employee due to her disabilities, the U.S.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed  today.

According  to the EEOC’s suit, NHC violated federal law by firing Elisa Stamey because she  had multiple sclerosis (MS) and a history of bursitis. Stamey, a registered nurse with over 15 years  of experience, applied for a job with NHC’s Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga.,  location and was hired in December 2009 as a part-time weekend registered  nurse/shift supervisor. On Dec. 21,  2009, she received her schedule and filled out the new hire paperwork including  a medical questionnaire which revealed her medical conditions. Upon learning of these, the company required a  medical release from Stamey’s physician.  The next day, before she could get the proper form from her doctor,  Stamey was terminated.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With  Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which  prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on a disability or  perceived disability. The EEOC filed  suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process. The EEOC is  seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Stamey. The lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief  designed to stop and prevent any future discrimination.

“The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing the ADA,” said Bernice  Williams-Kimbrough, district director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District  Office. “As Congress made clear in the  ADAAA, the protections for persons with disabilities should be broadly applied. Ms. Stamey is a perfect example of the people  the amendment was designed to protect.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination. Further information  about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.