Administrators at Doctor’s Hospital in Coral Gables discriminated against a physician with epilepsy when they refused her request for a “reasonable” schedule change and later fired her, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Officials for Baptist Health South Florida, the named defendant and manager of Doctor’s Hospital, had not been served with the lawsuit as of Tuesday, said Christine Kotler, a spokeswoman.
The lawsuit claims that Dr. Lianette Campos-Sackley, hired in November 2010 as a general medicine practitioner in the Gamma Knife program, suffered fatigue that led to recurring epileptic seizures as a result of being required to regularly work 9-1/2 to 12 hours a day. The lawsuit says Campos-Sackley was hired with the understanding that she would not be required to exceed an eight-hour work day.
EEOC attorneys allege in the lawsuit that administrators at Baptist Health violated Campos-Sackley’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying her request for a scheduling change.
Campos-Sackley’s job duties included assisting and attending to patients. Depending on the number of surgeries in a day, her schedule could start as early as 5 a.m. and end about 5 p.m., according to the suit.
The suit also alleges that Campos-Sackley met with hospital supervisors to discuss her request for a schedule change, and that two administrators alluded to her disability as potential reasons for her to be fired. She was fired in January 2011, according to the suit, and attempted to negotiate a settlement after filing a discrimination complaint with the EEOC.
The lawsuit requests that Baptist Health compensate Campos-Sackley an undetermined amount for back pay with interest, and that hospital administrators either reinstate her or provide her with future compensation. The suit also asks for Baptist Health to pay Campos-Sackley for past and future losses, and for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience and humiliation.