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Press Release 12-18-2020

Interconnect Cable Technologies to Pay $35,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Electronics Manufacturer Demoted and Fired Employee Due to Her Mental Illness, Federal Agency Charges

Interconnect Cable Technologies Corporation (ICTC), an electronics manu­facturer in Brooksville, Fla., has agreed to pay $35,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC charged that ICTC violated federal law by demoting and later firing an employee after she was hospitalized for a mental illness The employee was hospitalized and diagnosed with major depressive disorder. When she returned to work the following week, ICTC immediately stripped her of her job duties and later demoted her and cut her pay. ICTC terminated her employment about four months after her hospitalization.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits emp­loyers from discriminating based on disability. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division (EEOC v. Interconnect Cable Technologies Corporation, Case No. 8:20-cv-00644-SCB-SPF) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its concili­ation process.

In addition to the $35,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires ICTC to appoint an ADA coordinator, develop and distribute a written policy against disability discrimination, and to conduct anti-discrimination training for all company personnel. ICTC must also post a notice at its worksite about the lawsuit and submit annual written reports to the EEOC.

“This settlement reflects the EEOC’s strong commitment to protecting the rights of qualified and capable employees living with mental illness,” said Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District. “Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about mental illness are unlawful, and the EEOC will take action to prevent it.”

Evangeline Hawthorne, director of the EEOC’s Tampa Field Office, said, “Demoting or firing individuals because of disability, whether physical or mental, violates federal law. This resolution brings the EEOC closer to achieving its mission of eliminating disability discrimination from America’s workplace.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.