Failure to Allow Leave For Cancer Treatment May Violate the ADA

According to legal news, Dunkin’ Donuts has been sued for disability discrimination after refusing to provide medical leave to a woman suffering from cancer. In a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the doughnut chain terminated the worker. The ADA makes disability discrimination illegal and prohibits discrimination against “qualified individuals with a disability” in the terms and conditions of employment. Additionally, the ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities, which often includes allowing workers to take time off for necessary medical appointments. Provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other state laws may also be applicable when a worker suffers an injury or requires treatment for an illness.

According to the lawsuit, the woman successfully performed her duties as a regional manager of several Dunkin’ Donuts stores. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she requested 4 to 8 weeks of unpaid leave for surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Instead of granting the requested leave, the company abruptly fired her.

A representative of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) commented, “Granting an employee unpaid leave for needed medical treatment is not only the compassionate thing to do, it is required by federal law unless the employer can show it would pose an undue hardship.”

For more information or if you or a loved one has been denied leave or an accommodation due to an illness or disability, please do not hesitate to contact the dedicated Georgia disability discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.