Chick-fil-A, a popular fast food chain with franchises ranging across the U.S. from California to the East Coast, is facing allegations of employment discrimination against disabled job applicants. A 25-year-old autistic man is suing both his local Chick-fil-A restaurant and its parent company Chick-fil-A Inc. for claims that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff asserts he was denied a job at his town's Chick-fil-A exclusively because of his autism.
According to the lawsuit that was filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 23, when the plaintiff applied for a job at his local Chick-fil-A, the branch manager told the man's job coach that the company was not interested in hiring people with disabilities. Furthermore, he allegedly stated that people with disabilities would not be able to succeed at Chick-fil-A. Because of these statements, the plaintiff purportedly did not even bother to finish filling out his formal work application.
The man had completed work study training at another restaurant a few years prior, where he reportedly performed his job duties capably and diligently, according to a statement from his previous supervisor. After working with a job coach to try to find a full-time job, the plaintiff and his coach went to apply at Chick-fil-A, as the job duties he would have there were similar to his past experience. This, the lawsuit claims, is when he was subjected to the dismissive comments from the manager.
The plaintiff's lawyer claims that, by failing to assess the man's ability to perform the functions that would be required of him or examining whether any accommodations could be made that would alleviate the company's concerns about the man's ability to perform essential job duties, they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The company further violated the act by stating outright that it would not hire any person with a disability. A spokesperson for the company strenuously denies the allegations. Any resident of California who believes he or she has suffered employment discrimination might benefit from contacting an attorney with experience in similar cases to explore legal options.
Source: Fox News, "Lawsuit alleges Chick-Fil-A discriminates against disabled job applicants", Dec. 29, 2016