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Case Name EEOC v. Lifecare Management Services, LLC EE-PA-0233
Docket / Court Civil Action No. 08-1358 ( W.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On September 30, 2008, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Lifecare Management Services, LLC, and subsidiary LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, Inc. (collectively "Lifecare") for discriminatory employment practices (disparate treatment and hostile work environment) ... read more >
On September 30, 2008, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Lifecare Management Services, LLC, and subsidiary LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, Inc. (collectively "Lifecare") for discriminatory employment practices (disparate treatment and hostile work environment) in violation of Section 102(a) of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112(a). The EEOC brought the claims as a result of charges filed by a business office manager at LifeCare Hospitals. The EEOC sought injunctive relief (in the form of an order not to discriminate against employees with disabilities, to develop policies to provide equal employment opportunities for such individuals, and to reinstate the employee) and monetary relief (back pay with interest, compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and emotional pain, and punitive damages).

On October 17, 2008, the employee was allowed to intervene in the case. Her amended complaint, filed November 11, 2008, added charges for discrimination and retaliation under the ADA, the FMLA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations act. She sought reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensation, attorney fees, and punitive damages.

On September 30, 2008, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Lifecare Management Services, LLC, and subsidiary LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, Inc. (collectively "Lifecare") for discriminatory employment practices (disparate treatment and hostile work environment) in violation of Section 102(a) of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112(a). The EEOC brought the claims as a result of charges filed by a business office manager at LifeCare Hospitals. The EEOC sought injunctive relief( in the form of an order not to discriminate against employees with disabilities, to develop policies to provide equal employment opportunities for such individuals, and to reinstate the employee) and monetary relief (back pay with interest, compensation for out of pocket expenses and emotional pain, and punitive damages).
On October 17, 2008, the employee was allowed to intervene in the case. Her amended complaint, filed November 11, 2008, added charges for discrimination and retaliation under the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations act. She sought reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensation, attorney fees, and punitive damages.

Having been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer that was particularly likely to reoccur, the employee took a leave of absence under the FMLA. She was terminated a few weeks after the leave ended but soon allowed to resume work on a part-time basis largely from home. Later a new supervisor required her to work full time. He removed her full-time staff assistant, which in combination with other changes significantly increased her duties, even compared to her previous full-time employment. Eventually human resources told her to take a 12-week severance with pay and health insurance or risk being terminated for cause, which would involve no health insurance. After a series of misundertandings over whether she should continue to report to work, during which she repeatedly sought clarification, she was terminated for failure to report to work. Although she obtained unemployment compensation, Lifecare provided the state with inaccurate information about her loss of employment, which led to a proceeding on charges of fraud and the possibility that she would have to pay back $13,000 in benefits. She eventually prevailed in retaining her benefits.

The parties participated in mediation and eventually reached a settlement agreement. On May 8, 2008, Lifecare and the intervening employee stipulated to the dismissal with prejudice of her claims because the settlement with the EEOC covered the terms of her compensation. The Court (Judge Gary Lancaster) entered the settlement as a Consent Decree on May 12, 2009. Under the consent decree Lifecare did not have to reinstate the employee but did have to pay her $100,000 and all parties bore their own costs. Lifecare was required to keep detailed records of all complaints it received for the next year about a possible incident of disability discrimination and make them available to the EEOC upon request. Lifecare was also required to provide anti-disability-discrimination training to all employees and investigative training to all supervisor employees for the next year. Finally, Lifecare had to prepare a report at the end of the 1-year period of all the complaints of possible disability discrimination during that time and how they were handled. The 1-year period passed without incident, and the case is now closed.

Kenneth Gray - 06/13/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001
State law
Defendant(s) Lifecare Management Services, LLC
Plaintiff Description EEOC filing on behalf of a Lifecare Management Services employee who was subjected to a hostile work environment, unfair discipline, and termination as a result of her treatment for colon cancer.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2010
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:08-cv-01358-GLL-CB (W.D. Pa.) 05/12/2009
EE-PA-0233-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/30/2008
EE-PA-0233-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor's Complaint 10/17/2008
EE-PA-0233-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Intervenor's Complaint 11/12/2008
EE-PA-0233-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order 03/17/2009 (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0233-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bissoon, Cathy (W.D. Pa.) [Magistrate]
EE-PA-0233-9000
Lancaster, Gary L. (W.D. Pa.) [Magistrate]
EE-PA-0233-9000
McVerry, Terrence F. (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0233-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Clickner, M. Jean (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-0001 | EE-PA-0233-9000
Kotler, Helen R. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-0002 | EE-PA-0233-0003 | EE-PA-0233-9000
McNair, Jacqueline H. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-0001
O'Boyle, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-0001
Weiner, David F. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-0003 | EE-PA-0233-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Michalski, Christopher (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-9000
Schroeder, Theodore A. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0233-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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