Winamac, Ind. employer charged with disability discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS – The Deputy Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), Akia Haynes, announced today that there is probable cause to believe that Alliance EMS/Transport Loving Care, Inc. in Winamac, Indiana violated the Civil Rights Law Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq.) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 when it laid off an employee who was on medical leave as part of the company’s downsizing.

The man who filed the complaint (Complainant) was meeting the Respondent’s legitimate business expectations throughout the course of his employment which began in June 2011. However, during his time with the company he underwent a medical procedure that required him to take three weeks off from work. Upon his return, he received a letter indicating his position was one of the three being downsized to accommodate the new healthcare act.

It is important to note that evidence shows that another individual without impairment was hired during Complainant’s recovery period and retained after Respondent downsized its workforce. Despite the Respondent’s assertions that it later rehired Complainant, there is insufficient evidence to support it. Additionally, the Respondent failed to abide by the Commission’s request for information related to the downsizing and a subpoena issued on January 6, 2015.

As such and based upon the evidence collected in the investigation, probable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory practice occurred as alleged.

It is important to note that a finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated. A public hearing is necessary to determine whether a violation of the Indiana Civil Rights Law occurred as alleged.