Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Inc. to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Cable Companies Denied Employees with Disabilities Reasonable Accommodations Federal Agency Charged
 

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Oceanic Time Warner Cable LLC and Charter Communications, Inc. (Oceanic) agree to pay $800,000 and provide other injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Oceanic denied employees with disabilities reasonable accommodation as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), failed to engage in the interactive process, and instead fired them.

Such alleged conduct violates the ADA, which makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee due to a disability. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. Oceanic Time Warner Cable LLC dba Spectrum, et al., Case No. CV-18-00357-DKW-KJM) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief, the three-year consent decree includes injunctive relief to prevent further workplace discrimination. Oceanic will review and revise their policies to achieve compliance with the ADA, provide regular ADA training to upper managers, human resource practitioners, and all other Hawaii employees, and maintain data detailing accommodation requests and complaints. A designated equal employment opportunity monitor will conduct regular audits, monitor compliance, and oversee recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The court will retain jurisdiction during the term of the decree.

Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Hawaii in its jurisdiction said, “Engaging in an effective interactive process is integral to preventing disability discrimination at the workplace. We commend Oceanic for agreeing to this resolution.”

“Employers often overlook the variety of reasonable accommodations under the ADA and prematurely dismiss employees’ requests for accommodations,” said Raymond Griffin, Jr., director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office. “Our office remains steadfast in ensuring employers engage in the interactive process.”

Charter Communications acquired Oceanic Time Warner Cable in 2016 and operates as Spectrum. According to its website, www.spectrum.co, Charter Communications is America’s fastest growing TV, internet, and voice company.

Addressing disability discrimination is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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