The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing the owners of a McDonald’s franchise in Little Rock, Arkansas, for allegedly firing an employee for being HIV positive. Mathews Management Company and Peach Orchard Inc. own the restaurant.
The employee was allegedly fired days after disclosing his HIV-positive status to his boss. If the two events are directly related, they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The companies also allegedly require their employees to report the use of prescription drugs, which also violates the ADA.
“The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve success in the workplace,” Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis district office, said in a press release. “People with HIV face enough obstacles in their lives. The ability to work in an environment free of discrimination should not be one of them.”
If successful, the defendants will be required to provide back pay and payment for compensatory and punitive damages, compensate for lost benefits, remove the prescription medication policy and enjoin against future discrimination.
UPDATE: McDonald’s will pay $103,000 to settle the lawsuit. For more, click here.