Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Texas Restaurant Settles "Disability Discrimination" Lawsuit For $41,500 And Agrees To Train Managers On Use Of "Hearing-Impaired Communication Systems"

“…the EEOC alleged that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 by denying job applicant Michael Harrison employment at its Wendy’s franchise in Killeen, Texas, after learning of his hearing impairment…In addition to paying $41,500 to Mr. Harrison, Wendy’s agreed to provide all managers and supervisory employees training on the ADA and specific training on the use of hearing-impaired communication systems…”

A franchisee of The Wendy’s Co. fast-food restaurant chain has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, paying $41,500 to resolve the case and implement employee training.

After successfully interviewing with the Wendy’s shift manager for a cooker position, Mr. Harrison was interviewed by the general manager through a telephonic system for the hearing-impaired. During the course of the interview, the EEOC alleged that the general manager told Mr. Harrison that “there is really no place for someone we cannot communicate with,” the EEOC said in the statement.

After failing to reach a prelitigation settlement, the EEOC filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Waco.

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