EEOC: NY Hospital Failed to Accommodate Diabetic Nurse

October 1, 2007 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against a Westchester County, New York hospital for refusing to accommodate a nurse with diabetes with a consistent work schedule.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the agency alleges that Hudson Valley Hospital Center violated discrimination laws when it fired Glorianne Romano, 52, because it refused to afford her a schedule change that was recommended by her doctor.

Romano had been assigned to shifts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but her physician advised that she work three consecutive days so that she could better control her disability. She suffers from the most serious form of diabetes, Type 1, known as “brittle diabetes,” which requires careful monitoring, regular exercise and rest, along with dietary constraints.

The hospital initially accommodated her, but then later withdrew the accommodation. The EEOC claims that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities (ADA).

“Discriminating against an employee is wrong and it violates the federal law. You might think that a medical institution would be more sensitive to people with these medical issues,” said Louis Graziano, the EEOC’s New York trial attorney, according to the Journal News newspaper.

Hospital representatives deny any discrimination and vow to fight back. “We strongly deny the allegations in the complaint. We are troubled that an institution with such a stellar reputation is forced to defend itself against this meritless action,” attorney Dan Murphy told the newspaper. .

The EEOC complaint is here .