Restaurant Fired Employee Because of His HIV Status, Federal Agency Charged
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A McDonald's restaurant owned and operated by Mathews Management Company and Peach Orchard, Inc. in Bentonville, Ark., will pay $103,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
EEOC's lawsuit challenged McDonald's treatment of an employee when the restaurant fired him within days of learning of his HIV-positive status. The suit also charged that the companies' policy of requiring all employees to report the use of prescription medication is also unlawful.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC filed suit (Mathews Management and Peach Orchard, Inc. d/b/a McDonald's Store # 32295, Civil Action No. 5:16-CV-05166TLB) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
After EEOC filed suit, the former employee intervened in the case with his own lawsuit and was represented by Joshua L. Bailey of the Hogue Law Firm in Fayetteville, Ark.
In addition to the monetary payment, the companies will also conduct disability training for its managers and revise their policy requiring mandatory disclosure of prescription medications.
"EEOC remains committed to protecting employees from disability discrimination on the job," said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the agency's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "EEOC commends the companies for working with us to quickly resolve this matter prior to trial."
Mathews Management Company owns and operates 34 McDonald's restaurants, including all of the restaurants in Northwest Arkansas and adjacent areas in Missouri and Oklahoma. This includes the store located in Bentonville.
EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov .
SOURCE: EEOC PRESS RELEASE on Nov.10, 2016