Settlement Agreement Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Between The United States Of America And Morgan County Memorial Hospital, Martinsville, Indiana

BACKGROUND

  1. This case stems from a referral to the United States Department of Justice ("the Department") from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in accordance with Section 107 of title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12117, upon a finding of reasonable cause and an unsuccessful effort to conciliate.
  2. The charging party alleged that the Morgan County Memorial Hospital ("the Hospital") discriminated against him by suspending him from his position as an emergency room nurse upon learning of, and because of, his disability, in violation of title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111 et seq., and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. The charging party has the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  3. The position of the Department of Justice is that the Hospital suspended the charging party because he was HIV positive, thereby discriminating against him on the basis of disability in violation of section 102 of title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12112, and the title I regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. The Hospital's position is that it in no way violated any provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the rights of the charging party, and that neither this agreement nor anything contained in it shall constitute or be construed as a factual or legal admission by the Hospital or that any action of the Hospital, its officers, directors, trustees, agents, or employees with respect to the charging party was wrongful, unlawful or in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

THE PARTIES

  1. To resolve this matter without litigation, the parties have agreed to settle this matter according to the terms set forth below. The parties to this agreement are the United States of America and the Morgan County Memorial Hospital.
  2. The Hospital is an employer or an agent of an employer within the meaning of section 101(5) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(5), and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. ァ 1630.2(e), and is a covered entity within the meaning of section 101(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(2), and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. ァ 1630.2(b).
  3. The charging party is HIV positive, and is a person with a disability within the meaning of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12102(2) and 29 C.F.R. ァ 1630.2(g).
  4. The charging party is a qualified individual with a disability as defined by sections 101(8) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(8) and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. ァ 1630.2(m).

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY AGREED THAT:

  1. Within ten days of the date of this agreement, the Hospital shall send to the charging party by certified mail, return receipt requested, a check payable to him in the amount of $4,800 as damages. The Hospital shall mail a photocopy of the check to counsel for the Department of Justice.
  2. Within ten days of the date of this agreement, the Hospital shall post the notice, signed by the Hospital's management, attached to this agreement as Exhibit A. The notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place, where it can be seen by all employees, and shall remain posted for a period of at least 60 days.
  3. Within ten days of the date of this agreement, the Hospital shall place in the charging party's personnel file the letter of recommendation attached to this agreement as Exhibit B. The letter shall be signed by the Vice President, Human Resources, and shall be the Hospital's only response to any party inquiring about the charging party's performance of his duties while an employee at the Hospital, unless otherwise authorized by the charging party.
  4. Within ninety days of the date of this agreement, the Hospital shall conduct a training program for all personnel who have any responsibility for implementing the Hospital's policy with respect to employees who are HIV positive or who have AIDS. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, operating room supervisors, emergency room supervisors, supervisors of any other areas in which invasive or exposure-prone procedures are performed, the director of nursing, the Hospital's infection control supervisor, and the Hospital's manager of human resources. The training program, which shall not be conducted by a hospital employee or manager, will include information on modes of transmission of HIV, general HIV and AIDS sensitivity and awareness training, and an explanation of the Hospital's policy with respect to employees who are HIV positive, or who have AIDS, and the responsibilities of those employees under the ADA and the Hospital's policy.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. The Attorney General is authorized to bring a civil action enforcing title I of the ADA in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the terms of this agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from taking more formal enforcement action in this matter.
  2. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce any provision of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce any other provision of this agreement. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this agreement or any provision of it has been violated, the Department may institute a civil action for relief in federal district court.

PUBLIC AGREEMENT

  1. This agreement is a public document. A copy of this agreement or any information contained in it may be made available to any person.

EFFECTIVE DATE

  1. This agreement shall become effective on the date of the last signature below. This agreement shall be binding on any successor in interest to the Hospital, and the Hospital has a duty to so notify all such successors in interest.

SCOPE OF AGREEMENT

  1. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Department and the Hospital on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written agreement shall be enforceable. This agreement does not affect the Hospital's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. A signor of this document in a representative capacity for a partnership, corporation, or other such entity, represents that he or she is authorized to bind such partnership, corporation or other entity to this agreement.

    For the United States:

    Bill Lann Lee
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    Civil Rights Division

    By: ______________________________       Date: ___________
    JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
    ALLISON J. NICHOL, Deputy Chief
    HAROLD L. JACKSON, Attorney
    Disability Rights Section
    Civil Rights Division
    U.S. Department of Justice
    P.O. Box 66738
    Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
    (202) 305-7624

    For Morgan County Hospital:

    By: ______________________________       Date: ___________

    Title: ___________________________

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Updated August 6, 2015

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