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Lawsuit Claims Discrimination, Ex-Employee Files Against Cingular

Oct 9, 2004 | THE SUN HERALD An Ocean Springs man has filed a lawsuit against Cingular Wireless in U.S. District Court claiming discrimination from a hostile work environment and improper treatment relating to job opportunities and advancement.

The suit filed Thursday, which represents only one side of the story, seeks $10 million in punitive damages and $2.5 million in compensatory damages. It asks for a jury trial.

The suit claims that Cingular's Ocean Springs branch, where the plaintiff, Roy Harville, who is bipolar, according to his attorney, worked for several years, failed to provide reasonable accommodations for several vacant positions for which the plaintiff was qualified.

"My client had applied for several job openings with Cingular, and the human resources director, in a meeting, flat-out said that they were not going to make any accommodations for people with disabilities, which is a clear violation of the American Disabilities Act of 1990," asserted Harville's attorney. "That is a powerful piece of evidence that will be displayed in the case."

The suit also claims Cingular did not have a policy prohibiting harassment and hostile work environment and discrimination related to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans Disabilities Act of 1990.

The suit notes the claims were investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after Harville filed the complaints on March 1, 2003.

In July of this year, according to a document filed with the suit, the EEOC told Harville it found reasonable cause that violations occurred, but could not obtain a settlement with the firm "that would provide relief to you." The EEOC also noted it would not bring suit and was closing its file for the time being.

Attorneys with Cingular Wireless, which is based in Atlanta, declined to comment.

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