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 fired her. 

"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.

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