Company Settles Texas Disability Accommodation Suit for $66K

April 29, 2020

Assisted Living Concepts LLC, doing business as Enlivant, a national owner and operator of senior living facilities, has settled a federal disability discrimination lawsuit related to a facility in Dallas, Texas.

The company will pay a former chef $66,000 and is making significant changes to its human resources programs to enhance compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These terms are part of a settlement of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC, Meeka Henderson worked as a chef at the North Brook Place facility in Dallas, which was owned and operated by Assisted Living Concepts / Enlivant. After beginning a medical leave of absence, and just one day prior to a scheduled surgery, Henderson was told that if she did not return to work without restrictions by a certain date, she would be terminated. The EEOC said that when Henderson couldn’t return to work without restrictions on the required date, Enlivant fired her.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects employees from discrimination based on their disabilities and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’ disabilities. The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-2304-L) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief to be paid to Henderson under the two-year consent decree, signed by U.S. District Court Judge Sam A. Lindsay, the assisted living provider has also agreed to training of human resources directors and managers and will disseminate policies that specifically address the ADA accommodation issues. Online training for employees will also be planned.

Subsequent to the filing of the EEOC charge by Henderson, Enlivant sold the business operation at North Brook in McKinney, Texas, and no longer employs the individuals the EEOC identified as responsible for the discriminatory decisions.

Source: EEOC

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