HONOLULU — A federal agency alleges a Hawaii communication company's inflexible leave and attendance policies violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, Oceanic Time Warner Cable LLC, doing business as Spectrum, has leave and attendance policies that harm employees with disabilities by not allowing for additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.
The EEOC also alleges Spectrum did not determine if reasonable accommodations could be provided and simply told employees that if they could not return to "full duty" they would be fired. The EEOC is also accusing Spectrum of denying reasonable accommodations to probationary employees who used up their earned sick hours.
"The EEOC continues to see employers failing to adhere to the requirements for reasonable accommodations under federal law," EEOC Los Angeles District regional attorney Anna Park said in a statement. "Employers should audit their policies to makes sure they comply with the ADA, and remember to make exceptions to inflexible policies when required to provide reasonable accommodations."
"Terminating employees on leave without engaging in the interactive process and requiring employees to return to full duty without an accommodation are issues that the EEOC continually sees," added EEOC Honolulu Office director Glory Gervacio Saure. "Employers should take heed and address these practices for the betterment of their company."
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.