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Healthcare workers reach settlement in latex allergy discrimination case

A settlement has been reached in a California employee discrimination case. The case involved a lawsuit filed against a Walnut Creek Hospital on behalf of seven nurses and a lab technician who were denied jobs because they have latex allergies. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against John Muir Health for discriminating against the healthcare professionals based on perceived disability.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the company agreed to settle the case and pay damages to the nurses and lab technician who were denied jobs. The company had originally offered jobs to the healthcare professionals, but later withdrew the offers after a contractor at the hospital said that blood tests showed that the applicants had life-threatening latex allergies and should not be exposed to latex. The EEOC argued that it is against the law to discriminate based on a perceived disability.

Later, the nurses and lab technician had tests done independently. It was found that their sensitivities to latex were not life-threatening. If the hospital had provided substitutes to latex, the workers would have been fine. The hospital says that it is now using less latex. The hospital also said that they will work with future job applicants and an allergist to determine what accommodations can be provided if a person is allergic to materials in the hospital.

Source:

Workers denied jobs over latex allergy settle case (San Francisco Chronicle)