Company Withdrew Job Offer Because of Cancer Surgery, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - An Atlanta-based air transport communications and information technology company has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
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 disability. Case was offered a position as a full-time personal assistant to SITA's vice president. Shortly after accepting the offer, Case learned that she would require cancer surgery, and requested a reasonable accommodation of having her start date moved. SITA accommodated this request. When her extended start date arrived, Case requested that she be allowed to work part-time for the first two weeks to complete her recovery. As a result of this request, SITA rescinded its employment offer.
The EEOC alleged that SITA's conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from refusing to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
After the EEOC commenced the lawsuit, Case intervened with private counsel. SITA and Case resolved her claims for monetary relief prior to the filing the consent decree settling the suit. The decree includes anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions, as well as equal employment opportunity training and reporting and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In both the lawsuit and consent decree, SITA denied any liability or wrongdoing.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.