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Baptist Health South Florida settles disability discrimination case

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Baptist Health South Florida (Baptist Health) is one of the largest health care organizations in South Florida employing approximately 14,000 people and 2,000 physicians. Facilities under the Baptist Health umbrella include; Baptist Hospital of Miami, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, South Miami Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Doctor’s Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

In April, 2013, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Lianette Campos-Sackley against Baptist Health alleging discrimination. The lawsuit alleged Baptist Health violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to reasonably accommodate disabled employees, when Baptist Health failed to accommodate Dr. Campos-Sackley. It was also alleged the doctor was fired because of her disability.

More specifically, Dr. Campos-Sackley applied for a position at Doctor’s Hospital, a health care facility under the umbrella of Baptist Health South Florida, as a general medical practitioner under the direction of Dr. Aizik Wolf. Dr. Wolf was made aware Dr. Campos-Sackley suffered from epilepsy which prohibited her from working more than eight hours a day.

Dr. Campos-Sackley was hired and her scheduling request was agreed upon. Sometime after she began working Dr. Wolf changed the work schedule and required Dr. Campos-Sackley to work more than eight hours per day negatively impacting her health.

On or about February 21, 2014, a settlement was reached whereby Baptist Health will pay Dr. Campos-Sackley $215,000 in damages. As part of the settlement, Baptist Health will be required to provide annual training for management and human resources & recruiting personnel. In addition, Baptist Health will be required to provide written reports to the EEOC describing all internal complaints of discrimination due to a disability for monitoring by the EEOC over a two year period subsequent to the date of the settlement.

Attorney Robert E. Weisberg of the EEOC Miami district office said, “An important goal of ADA is to allow qualified workers an opportunity to work. If that requires a reasonable accommodation in the form of a modified work schedule which causes no hardship to the employer, then it should be done.”

Malcolm Medley, EEOC Miami district director said, “A health care facility should especially understand the importance of non-discrimination regardless of disabilities. We will combat job discrimination against people with disabilities wherever we find it, however unlikely the place where it occurs.”

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