Court Finds Healthcare Facility Did Not Violate ADA in Terminating Employment
September 2, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
A federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that a healthcare facility did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in firing one of its employees—who had a legally recognized disability—out of concerns that she was putting patients at risk by not properly following facility policies and procedures, according to a report from Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). When the plaintiff, a medical technologist, failed to "call critical values" in lab results four times in three weeks, the facility issued a disciplinary write-up warning the employee about her failure to follow proper operating procedures and retrained her on laboratory procedures. The next month, the facility suspended the plaintiff for one day for not properly documenting critical calls and placing "unspun" blood in the "spun" lane of a laboratory machine. The plaintiff was then diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and a continuous positive airway pressure device was prescribed. Shortly after, she again failed to follow proper procedures at work, resulting in the wrong lab result being reported to a physician. The facility issued a final written warning to the plaintiff regarding any other incidents.