Kaiser Permanente will pay to settle lawsuit

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Kaiser Permanente will pay $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of a former food service worker in San Diego who was denied a free job coach, which would have allowed him to properly train and learn the duties of the job, it was announced Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a worker at Kaiser’s San Diego facility has a medical condition, hydrocephalus, which causes dizziness and difficulty with memory and concentration.

Upon being hired, the food worker requested additional training and the assistance of a temporary job coach to effectively learn the job and perform the required job duties.

A nonprofit organization in San Diego specializing in assisting people with disabilities — Toward Maximum Independence — was available to provide the coaching services free of charge to Kaiser, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC alleged that Kaiser chose to fire the worker rather than grant the reasonable accommodation request. In September 2013, the EEOC filed suit in federal court in San Diego, asserting that Kaiser had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The parties entered into a 2 1/2- year consent decree to resolve the lawsuit. It was signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Michael Anello.

Aside from the monetary relief obtained for the victim, Kaiser agreed to appoint an equal employment opportunity coordinator to review and revise its existing anti-discrimination and accommodation policies and procedures.

Kaiser further agreed to provide training on those policies and procedures to all staff, including managers, in its San Diego service area and to monitor and track requests for accommodation and terminations involving persons with disabilities, according to the EEOC.

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