U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Air Transport Communications Company Discharged Employee With Cancer While on Short-Term Disability Leave, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA – An Atlanta-based air transport communications company unlawfully discriminated against an employee because of her cancer surgery, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed recently.
According to the EEOC’s suit, SITA Information Networking Computing USA, Inc. violated federal law by rescinding Darlene Case’s offer of employment rather than accommodating her. Case was hired as a full-time personal assistant to SITA’s vice president. Shortly after accepting the offer of employment, Case learned that she would require surgery as a result of her cancer. Due to the surgery, she requested a reasonable accommodation of having her start date moved and then being allowed to work part-time for the first two weeks. In response, the employer rescinded the employment offer.
Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking reinstatement, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Case. The lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination.
“This suit is being filed to ensure that employers understand that they have an obligation, short of incurring undue hardship, to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, which filed the suit.
Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC is committed to stopping workplace disability discrimination in Georgia and across the country.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.