The EEOC is the federal administrative agency that authorizes individuals to sue for employment discrimination matters including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. § 621-629), and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.).
It is somewhat surprising that Sony did not settle the case before it went public that they are being accused of discriminating against a disabled woman and the EEOC, despite very limited resources, felt this was a case they wished to take on rather than pass onto private employment litigators, like Nair Law LLC, which usually fight for these individuals to receive compensation for employer's violation of federal and state laws aimed at protecting workers.
Regardless, based on the Chicago Tribune's reporting, it appears that the worker has made out a prima facie case of discrimination and under the McConnell-Douglas burden shifting framework, it is Sony and its temporary staffing agency's burden to prove that their motivations in "reassigning" but never actually giving the woman any work were not wholly motivated by improper bases for termination such as race, gender, national origin, or failure to accommodate a disability. Since the Plaintiff claims she was taken off inspection work, despite her ability to perform that work adequately, and was never given any other work despite her insistent calling, Sony will have a tougher time meeting its burden that they did attempt, in good faith, to search for a replacement position for the Plaintiff. Regardless of the legal outcome, Sony faces the stigma of being known as a hostile employer to the most vulnerable and marginalized workers: disabled workers.
It, to me, appears to a strategic blunder unless they really do have a strong affirmative defense to these allegations. If they do, I doubt the EEOC would have made this their statement case. Someone is misplaying their cards and I think if the EEOC gets this case in front of a jury, Sony will lose badly.