FIRED GENERAL MANAGER BECAUSE HE SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION
After their General Manager was hospitalized for depression, Omaha Hospitality Group – the owners and operators of a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Omaha, Nebraska – terminated the guy because they feared he “might hurt other people.”
Believing that such conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit (EEOC v. Anant Enterprises, L.L.C., et al., Civil Action No. 8:22-cv-345) in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief.
In late December of 2023, a settlement of the dispute was announced. And in addition to paying the former manager $100,000, the Group agreed to modify its employment-related policies and practices to comport with law.
In a written statement, Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, noted that “Before an employer can fire an employee based on their disability, including a mental health disability, it must have objective evidence the employee would be unable to perform their job or would create a significant safety risk even with a reasonable accommodation …. Employers cannot rely on myths or stereotypes about mental health conditions when deciding whether an individual with a mental health disability, such as depression, can perform their job or poses a safety risk.”
And that’s no mythical tale ….
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