Health Partners, Inc., pays $25,000 to settle an Americans WIth Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit. The disability discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after settlement talks broke down. According to published accounts Health Partners refused to allow an employee to start working after she tested positive for tuberculosis on a preliminary skin test. Now at first glance one would say this sounds like a good idea so that other employees don't get sick. However, she was not contagious and did not pose a direct health risk to the other employees.
The company claims it settled the case because it did not wish to engage in protracted litigation. However, another reason could be that they would have lost the case at trial and would have to pay even more money in damages and also in legal fees. In addition to the money they paid Health Partners agreed to a two-year consent decree which requires it to give ADA training those employees responsible for hiring.
“The agency’s two-year consent decree provides complete relief to the employee, and also provides protections to future employees,” said EEOC attorney Nedra Campbell “We commend Health Partners for making this commitment to train its hiring personnel at such an early stage in this case.”