National Jewish Settles Disability Discrimination Suit

National Jewish Medical and Research Center has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a claim that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). National Jewish denies any violation of the ADA. National Jewish and its liability insurer concluded that settlement was the quickest and most economical method to end the dispute.

In addition to the payment, National Jewish has agreed to send Dorothy Barrett-Taylor a letter of apology and to provide additional training in the Americans with Disabilities Act to all employees.

"National Jewish believes wholeheartedly in the value of a diverse workplace, and employs many people with disabilities," said Michael Salem, MD, President and CEO of National Jewish. "We are happy to deliver additional training on ADA to our employees because we believe it is a worthy goal to fight discrimination of any kind."

National Jewish initially offered Ms. Barrett-Taylor, a position as a Clinical Laboratory Administrative Coordinator in May 2003. During her health screening, Ms. Barrett-Taylor stated that she previously had a positive tuberculosis skin test and tuberculosis lesions on her lower legs. She refused, however, to allow the National Jewish employee health nurse or the National Jewish manager of employee health to examine her legs. When Ms. Barrett-Taylor also failed to provide documentation from a physician about the condition of her legs, the job offer was retracted.

"We strive to protect our patients and staff from any health threat that we can, and would consider it a violation of their trust if we were to employ a person whose infectious status we could not determine," said Dr. Salem.

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