SACRAMENTO, CA – The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has alleged that nationwide healthcare provider Dialysis Clinic Inc. is guilty of discrimination for firing and refusing to rehire a nurse who took too long to complete her treatment for breast cancer. The EEOC was founded in 1965 during a growing movement for equality and social justice and has since been dedicated to equal opportunity at the workplace. This was the basis of the discrimination suite filed against Dialysis Clinic Inc. for its behavior in Sacramento.
Francisca Lee is 71 years old and had worked for 14 years at the company’s South Sacramento location on East Southgate Drive. According to the company’s complaint, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and took medical leave to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy.
Four months later Lee received a notification in the mail that her employment was being terminated. Apparently her leave exceeded the time limit dictated by the company’s medical leave policy. At the time she received the notification, Lee had already been cleared by her physician to return to work without restrictions in less than two months.
Lee was told that she could reapply for the position. She did more than two months later, after her medical clearance. However, she was rejected and the company hired a newly-licensed nurse instead.
The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects a qualified employee from being terminated due to disabilities. The law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to a job applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose a hardship on the employer.
“Given the ADA’s mandate, I would urge employers to be flexible concerning leave extensions if it causes no undue hardship,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “Ms. Lee has over 30 years’ experience in dialysis treatment and really wanted to work.”
Of course people are upset about the discrimination issue, but many are wondering why Dialysis Clinic Inc. would sacrifice such a valuable employee with a good record over some arbitrary time limit.
Dialysis Clinic Inc. serves patients with advanced kidney disease in more than 27 states, including 3 centers in Sacramento. Many students who graduate from dialysis technician training in Sacramento go to work at these facilities.