Anthony Ostlund defends company charged with disability discrimination
"You do not want to fight 'City Hall' if it can be avoided. But, Government agencies sometimes get it wrong; sometimes they are more interested in a policy issue than the particular case. When that happens, you can fight City Hall and win -- with the right team." --Norman J. Baer
Health Quest was the manager of a nursing home facility in Sarasota, Florida. A discharged employee claimed that she had been terminated due to discrimination arising from her disability – breast cancer. The EEOC decided it was going to use this case to demonstrate that it was prepared to aggressively protect workers from disability discrimination. Our client, Health Quest, found itself in a fight with the unlimited resources of the federal government.
The first thing we tried to do was reach a resolution with the EEOC. While Health Quest had not discriminated, it was not inclined to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending itself against that claim if a reasonable resolution could be reached. The EEOC wasn’t interested – it had a point to prove. That meant that our approach had to be to prepare for and win at trial.
The jury was out for less than a half hour and found that the EEOC’s claim was baseless.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Health Quest Management Corp.
US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division