Electronics Manufacturer Demoted and Discharged Employee Due to Her Mental Illness, Federal Agency Charges
TAMPA - Interconnect Cable Technology Corporation (ICTC), an electronics manufacturer in Brooksville, Fla., violated federal law by demoting and later discharging an employee after she was hospitalized for a mental illness, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.
According to the EEOC's suit, the employee had worked for ICTC for over 20 years, during which she was repeatedly promoted and held various positions. In June 2019, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with major depressive disorder. When she returned to work the following week, ICTC's chief financial officer immediately stripped the employee of her job duties. Shortly thereafter, ICTC's CFO demoted the employee to a new position and cut her pay. In October 2019, ICTC fired her.
Disability discrimination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division (EEOC v. Interconnect Cable Technology Corporation, Case No. 20-644) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent and correct disability discrimination and training of ICTC's managers and supervisors about federal equal employment opportunity laws.
"The Americans With Disabilities Act celebrates its 30th anniversary this year," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District. "Unfortunately, the number of disability discrimination charges filed annually with the EEOC rose last year. The EEOC continues, with this suit, to seek vigorous enforcement of the laws that protect people from this kind of intentional and harmful discrimination."
The EEOC's Tampa Field Office director, Evangeline Hawthorne, added, "An employee should feel comfortable disclosing his or her disability without fear that an employer will make employment decisions based on stereotypes about that disability. The EEOC remains steadfast in its commitment to take legal action against those who engage in such unlawful tactics."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.