While most employers understand and appreciate the necessity of treating their employees with respect and dignity, the unfortunate truth is that there are some that simply fail -- or even refuse -- to abide by this otherwise vital tenet.
A South Florida hospital system has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly discriminating against a physician. The Miami-based Baptist Health South Florida is accused of practicing disability discrimination by refusing to honor a reasonable scheduling request from a doctor who has a disability.
As we have frequently discussed in this Broward County Employment Law Blog, it is illegal for employers to make employment decisions on the basis of discrimination. Among the types of discrimination that are outlawed is disability discrimination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees as well as job applicants who are disabled, are regarded as disabled or have a record of disability.
It is no secret that Americans are becoming heavier. In fact, almost 37 percent of adults in the U.S. are currently classified as obese and this number is growing. As the government and other organizations are trying to curb this trend, employers here in Florida may feel pressure to keep overweight people off of their payrolls in an effort to keep health care costs down. But, is this employment discrimination?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, workers with health conditions here in South Florida cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. Rather, in most cases, their employers must make accommodations as needed. Of course, employers do not always comply with the ADA and this results in very unnecessary and difficult consequences for employees.
Many South Florida residents may not be aware of exactly what The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does. The federal government agency is actually responsible for enforcing the laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.
Of the record 99,947 complaints the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received in 2011, nearly 40 percent pertained to retaliation. Discrimination on the basis of race and sex were second and third.