Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise to Pay $30,000 To Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

A disability
discrimination lawsuit filed by the Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC)
against the operator of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Dublin, Georgia
was settled for $30,000.

The disability discrimination lawsuit charged that the KFC franchise violated
disability discrimination law by firing restaurant manager Cynthia Dunson in
July 2015 when he found out that she was taking medications prescribed by her
doctor for her bipolar disorder. The restaurant owner referred to Dunson’s
medications in obscene terms, the EEOC said, and made her destroy her
medications by flushing them down a toilet at the restaurant. When Dunson later
told the owner that she planned to continue taking the medications per her
doctor’s orders, the owner told her not to return to work and fired her.

The alleged conduct by the KFC restaurant violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court in Georgia,
after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its
conciliation process. In addition to providing monetary damages to Dunson,
the lawsuit requires the KFC restaurant to create and disseminate a handbook
containing policies that prohibit discrimina­tion. The decree also requires
that the company provide annual equal employment opportunity training to its
managers, supervisors, and employees. The two-year decree further requires the
company to post a notice to its employees about the lawsuit and to provide
periodic reporting to EEOC about disability discrimination complaints.

“Federal laws protect employees whose disabilities require them to take
medications and employers must make accommodation for those requirements,” said
a spoke person for the EEOC. “Employers are not allowed to force workers with
disabilities to choose between their jobs and their health. Reasonable
accommodation includes allowing workers to rely on their physicians, not on the
opinions of the company managers.”




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