Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The 3rd nominee for the “Worst Employer of 2022” is … the cancerous employment canceler

"Focus on your health," is a nice sentiment for an employer to share with an employee who is awaiting the results of cancer testing. Coupled with a termination letter on the eve of the employee returning to work from said testing? That will earn you a nomination for 2022's Worst Employer.

The EEOC has the details in this news release.
Car dealers Victory Automotive Group, Inc. and Cappo Management XXIX, Inc. will pay $150,000 and hire a consultant to facilitate changes to their policies and training practices to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC's suit, the joint employers terminated a title clerk working at their Sacramento dealership over fears that she might have cancer. The employee had missed several days of work due to a sudden illness, and then informed management that she had been hospital­ized and was undergoing testing for cancer. The employers promptly fired the employee a day before her anticipated return, despite a medical release allowing her to work. Her termination letter advised her to "focus on her health," and confirmed that her termination was not performance-related.
"Federal law prohibits employers from terminating individuals purely out of fear that those individuals may have a disability," says EEOC San Francisco District Director Nancy Sienko. Adds EEOC Senior Trial Attorney James H. Baker, "This employee should never have been terminated. Her hospitalization and potential cancer diagnosis, not her performance, sealed her fate with this company."

It also garnered this employer a well-earned spot on this year's slate of Worst Employers.