Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), a Carmel, Indiana-based power grid operator, has agreed to pay $90,500 to settle an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit.
The EEOC claims that MISO discriminated against an employee who suffered from postpartum depression. Instead of allowing the employee to take time off so that she could treat her condition, the company denied her request of leave and fired her.
Ironically, according to the EEOC, MISO’s HR policies allow employees to take medical leave to treat disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation of their employees’ disabilities, unless the employers would suffer an undue hardship as a result.
MISO claims that it could not grant the employee temporary leave because having an employee in her position was critical, but the EEOC alleges that the company waited over a month after the employee’s planned return-to-work date to hire a replacement, and it then allegedly allowed the new employee to delay her start date by three additional months.
EEOC attorney Laurie Young said, “The EEOC takes seriously its charge to eliminate employment discrimination against people with disabilities and remains committed to enforcing the ADA. The ADA provides protections to employees suffering the debilitating effects of postpartum depression, and we applaud this person for standing up for her rights.”