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EEOC Sues Wendy's Franchisee for Disability Discrimination

May 11, 2012

As Vincent Howard recently discussed in a Carson, California labor and employment lawyers blog, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) it is against the law to discriminate against qualified disabled employees or job applicants in the workplace. Employers are expected under the federal law to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled individuals, unless the employee's disability creates a significant expense, or hardship on the business operations of the employers.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency in charge of enforcing federal employment discrimination laws, recently filed a suit against a Wendy's fast food franchisee, claiming that the restaurant violated federal employment laws by denying employment to a job applicant due to his disability.

According to the lawsuit that Vincent Howard has been following, Michael Harrison, Jr. applied for a cooking position in a Wendy's franchise in Killeen, Texas. Despite being qualified for the job, with over two years of experience working for a different fast food restaurant franchise, Harrison was allegedly refused employment by the general manager, based on his disability--a hearing-impairment.

Harrison claimed that after applying for the cooking position, and having a successful interview with the shift manager at Wendy's, an interview was set up with the general manager, in order to complete the job interview process. Harrison reportedly used a telephonic system to facilitate the interview with the general manager, which is utilized by people with hearing impairments. During the phone interview, Harrison claims that the general manager informed him that there wasn't a place at the Wendy's franchise for a person that they could not communicate with.

The EEOC stated that the ADA requires employers to treat disabled individuals in the same manner as all other job applicants--and Harrison was allegedly refused employment only because of this disability, a hearing impairment. The EEOC claims that Wendy's failed to reasonably accommodate Harrison's disability, and instead operated on a stereotyped assumption about his communication abilities in the workplace.

Harrison claims that he has all of the experience necessary to perform the job duties, and was unlawfully denied the chance to provide his solid work skills to the fast food restaurant because of his disability. The agency is seeking injunctive relief, including the creation of disability policies in order to prevent and correct discrimination based on disability in the workplace. The disability discrimination lawsuit also seeks lost wages and compensatory damages for Harrison, as well as punitive damages against the Wendy's franchisee.

In the city of Fullerton, contact Vincent Howard, at Howard Law, PC today to discuss your disability rights in the California workplace.

Wendy's Franchisee Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, April 17, 2012

Related Web Resources:

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

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (EEOC)

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC)

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Fair Employment and Housing Act

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