BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a lawsuit against Cushman &
Wakefield, charging the company with allegations of violating federal disability
laws. The company allegedly fired an employee seeking reasonable accommodation to
deal with her breast cancer.
"Firing a woman who is courageously fighting breast
cancer is adding insult to injury and is unlawful disability discrimination,” said Spencer
H. Lewis, Jr., district director of EEOC's Philadelphia District Office.
According to the EEOC, Toi Patterson worked nine years for Cushman &
Wakefield at its facility in Columbia, Maryland. Patterson purportedly
requested intermittent leave for her breast cancer treatment pursuant to the
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). When she felt threatened that a supervisor
would make it difficult for her to use intermittent leave, she requested continuous
leave under the FLMA, the lawsuit alleges.
At the end of her FLMA leave,
Patterson requested to work part-time as a reasonable accommodation for her
disability. The company allegedly failed to accommodate her disability and instead
"It not only makes good business sense to make a
schedule change or provide another reasonable accommodation to allow a
productive, long-term worker to remain employed-- it is also required by
federal law,” said EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence.