McDonalds Sued for Disability Discrimination by EEOC

An interpreter for the Deaf using sign language

McDonalds has been subject to lawsuits for a variety of different violations of employment law. One of the latest cases claims McDonald’s has engaged in disability discrimination. National Law Review reported on the case against McDonalds, which has been filed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.


McDonalds Sued for Disability Discrimination

The disability discrimination case against McDonalds arose after a deaf man applied online to take a job at McDonalds. His application was submitted in 2012. On his application, the man indicated he had previous experience working at a McDonalds, both as a cook and as a member of the clean-up crew. He also indicated he had attended a school for the deaf. A job interview was scheduled for the man.

The manager of the restaurant the man applied to subsequently cancelled the job interview, allegedly because the manager learned the man applying for the position would need a sign language interpreter. The man’s sister volunteered to act as the interpreter to make the process easier. The manager still did not reschedule the interview even after this offer had been made, and even after the man applying for the position made several attempts to get another interview scheduled.

Despite not calling back the deaf applicant, the manager of the McDonald’s restaurant continued to try to hire other workers, interviewing and offering positions to several other people. Because the job applicant believed the interview had been cancelled as a result of the fact he was deaf, he made a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The complaint alleged McDonald’s conduct was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Disability discrimination is illegal under the Act. Employers are not only prohibited from discriminating against the disabled with regards to hiring, firing, or terms and conditions of employment, but employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled. This means taking steps– like allowing for or providing a sign language interpreter– in order to provide equal employment opportunities to people who are disabled.

When a company engages in employment discrimination, employees can go to the EEOC and the EEOC may conduct an investigation and pursue litigation on the employee’s behalf. Workers who are victims of discrimination may also be able to file their own civil lawsuit against the company which allegedly discriminated against them. Employees should consider speaking with an employment discrimination lawyer to determine what their best course of action is for making their claim and recovering damages for illegal discrimination.

In this case, EEOC attempted to reach a settlement between the deaf job applicant and McDonalds through its conciliation process. When this failed, EEOC filed a lawsuit against McDonalds in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for the disabled applicant, as well as back pay, punitive damages, and injunctive relief including the training of all McDonald’s managers on requirements for providing accommodations for people who are deaf or who are otherwise disabled.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.

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