September 11, 2009
Fired HIV-Positive Virginia Man Wins Court Case Against TGI Friday’s
Alexandria, Virginia, Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins has ruled in favor of James McCray, who said he was dismissed from his job at TGI Friday’s because he is HIV positive, the Washington Blade reports.
On September 2, the Alexandria Human Rights Commission agreed that TGI Friday’s violated the Human Rights Code by terminating McCray based on his HIV status.
According to the article, McCray had been a TGI Friday’s employee for five years before he disclosed his positive status to director of operations Robert D’Anna in 2006. McCray said he was let go from his job the next day.
The owners of TGI Friday’s, Carlson Restaurants, tried to challenge the decision of the court, stating that McCray was fired because he lied about the services of a contractor. However, the judged ruled against the company.
Dawkins wrote, “Considering the oral arguments and additional evidence offered on appeal of this matter, this court cannot find that the decision of the commission substantially violated the petitioner’s rights.”
McCray’s attorney, Michael Horwatt, said he and his client plan to ask the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to prosecute the case in federal court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act “because of the case’s importance to the hospitality industry in general.”
Meanwhile, the city of Alexandria intends to reap $5,000 from TGI Friday’s for violating the Human Rights Code.
Search: TGI Friday's, discrimination, Carlson Restaurants, Virginia
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