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Fast food franchise pays $25,000 for employment discrimination

Anyone who wishes a job deserves to have a fair chance, even if he or she has a medical history. Some Texas employers are not educated on proper hiring practices and may elect to deny employment based upon medical background information and not on one's qualifications. This practice may prompt an applicant to file a discrimination claim in an attempt to have an equal chance at the position and/or to seek financial relief for any discriminatory practices.

A man who applied to work at a Popeye's Chicken franchise claims that he was denied employment because of his medical condition. When the man applied at the Famous Chicken of Shreveport, L.L.C. in Longview, he had experience in management and working in the fast food industry. On his application, he was asked why he had left his most recent job, and responded with "medical."

The plaintiff received an interview with the general manager who then asked him to go into more detail about his medical condition. When the man revealed that he was HIV-positive, the manager responded by telling him that he would be unable to work for the company because of his condition. The Food and Drug Administration's Food Code does not list HIV as a type of disease that can be transmitted when someone is working with food.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a claim against the company in a federal district court in Texas, alleging disability discrimination. The plaintiff was awarded $25,000 plus other relief to settle the claim. The franchise also agreed to mandatory training for all personnel concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those who feel that they have been denied a position due to their medical condition may be entitled to file a claim against the offending party and may be awarded monetary compensation based on the individual circumstances of the case.

Source: kltv.com, "HIV-positive job applicant receives settlement from Longview restaurant owner", Marshall Stephens, Sept. 4, 2014

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