The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
9-29-09

HEALTH DELIVERY REFUSED TO RETURN DISABLED EMPLOYEE TO WORK, EEOC CHARGES

Woman Not Returned Because of History of Depression, Federal Agency Charges

DETROIT – A Saginaw, Mich., provider of health services violated federal law by refusing to return an employee to work because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit (EEOC v. Health Delivery, Inc., Case No. 2:09CV13837), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division, Linda Perry worked as a registered nurse for Health Delivery. In August 2006, Perry tried to return to work following a leave of absence for major depression. Despite the fact that Perry worked at Health Delivery for many years before her leave, the company refused to return her to a registered nurse position or rehire her.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The agency seeks to recover monetary compensation for Perry in the form of back pay and compensatory damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

“Ms. Perry had already proven her worth to the employer, but the management chose not to return her to work because of her medical history,” said EEOC Indianapolis Regional Attorney Laurie Young, whose jurisdiction includes Michigan. “The EEOC will vigorously pursue violations of the ADA when employers base their decisions on baseless myths, fears and stereotypes about persons with depression.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment dis­crim­ination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


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