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EEOC Sues Time Warner Cable & Charter Communications for Firing an Employee With a Disability

Company Failed to Accommodate Employee and Terminated Her Within Days of Learning of Her Medical Diagnosis, Federal Agency Charges

The U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed suit charging that Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications, DBA Spectrum, Inc. violated federal discrimination law by refusing to accommodate an employee with a disability and firing her days after learning of her diagnosis.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Time Warner Cable initially granted the employee unpaid leave when she requested an accommodation to seek medical attention for her disability. The EEOC alleges that once Time Warner Cable learned of the employee's disability diagnosis, they failed to provide her additional unpaid leave so that she could undergo treatment for her medical condition.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. Time Warner Cable, Inc. and Charter Communications, Inc. DBA Spectrum, Case No: 5:17-cv-01355) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency's suit seeks back pay, along with compensatory and punitive damages for the individual, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent any future discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

"The EEOC continues to see employers failing to properly engage in the interactive process and accommodating employees who are undergoing serious medical issues," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District.

Rosa Viramontes, director of the Los Angeles District, added, "This case should serve as a reminder to employers that it is their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to employees under the law."

According to the company's website, www.spectrum.com, Charter Communication is the second largest cable provider in the United States, having recently acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.