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Volume XIII, Number 34

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EEOC Sues Camden Place Health & Rehab, LLC for Disability Discrimination

Nursing  Home Failed to Provide Certified Nursing Assistant with Reasonable  Accommodation and Discharged Her Because of Her Disability, Federal Agency  Charges

Camden Place Health & Rehab, LLC, a  North Carolina limited liability company that operates a nursing home in  Greensboro, N.C., unlawfully refused to accommodate a disabled employee and  subsequently discharged her because of her disability, the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. 

According to the lawsuit, Yvonne Quaynor worked for Camden  Place as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).   Quaynor has asthma, a condition which affects her ability to breathe.  The complaint  alleges that around January 2010 Camden Place began requiring all of its CNAs  to supervise residents during scheduled smoking breaks.  Quaynor found that the secondhand cigarette smoke  that she inhaled while supervising these breaks aggravated her asthma.  The complaint alleges that Quaynor complained  repeatedly to her supervisors that the cigarette smoke was aggravating her  asthma and that in July 2010, after a particularly severe asthma attack,  Quaynor brought a note from her doctor to Camden Place and asked to be excused  from supervising the smoking breaks.  The  complaint further alleges that Camden Place denied Quaynor's request and  Quaynor was subsequently terminated on July 26, 2010 for refusing to supervise  the smoking breaks. 

Such alleged conduct violates  the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),  which protects employees from discrimination based on their disabilities and  requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations.  The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District  Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Camden Place Health & Rehab,  LLC; Civil Action No. 1:12-CV-1370) after first attempting to reach a  pre-litigation settlement.  The EEOC  seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

"Employers have a duty to  work with employees who request reasonable accommodations based on a  disability," said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District, which includes the EEOC's  Raleigh Area Office, where Quaynor filed her discrimination charge.  "The EEOC will vigorously prosecute cases  where the employer refuses to provide a reasonable accommodation that would  enable a person to perform his or her job."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws  prohibiting discrimination in employment.   More information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

© Copyright U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 1
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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

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