Blue Sky Vision L.L.C., a Delaware-based management services organization that provides support to eye care providers, has been sued by federal employment officials for employee disability discrimination at a facility in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges Blue Sky Vision violated federal law when subjected an employee to an unlawful medical inquiry and then fired him because it perceived him to be disabled.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the employee was hired in June of 2018 as an optometrist for Blue Sky Vision in Grand Rapids. Approximately three months later, the employee mentioned his medical condition to a coworker. Blue Sky management learned of the employee’s condition and, without conducting an individualized assessment to determine whether the condition would affect his ability to perform his job, told him that he could no longer work for the company.
When the employee argued that Blue Sky’s actions were illegal, the company postponed his termination, placed him on a leave of absence and required him to submit to an overly broad and intrusive medical inquiry into health conditions unrelated to his ability to perform his job.
When the employee opposed the breadth of the medical inquiry and refused to submit to it, Blue Sky sent him an official termination letter, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects employees from improper medical inquiries and from discrimination based on actual or perceived disabilities.
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Blue Sky Vision, LLC. Case No. 1:20-cv-00285) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
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