EEOC: McDonald's unlawfully fired HIV-positive employee under ADA rules
- A McDonalds restaurant in Bentonville, AK, will pay $103,000 to settle a disability lawsuit for being charged with violating the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The fast food restaurant fired an employee days after learning he was HIV-positive. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged the company with disability discrimination.
- The EEOC also cited the company for having a policy that requires employees to report what prescription drugs they’re using. The agency called the policy illegal.
- Besides the monetary payout, the company will provide disability training to all managers and revise its prescription drug policy.
Providing disability training for all managers as part of the settlement was a necessary step in preventing future ADA violations. It’s not clear whether the employee told his manager he was HIV-positive because he required some type of accommodation, but he would have been entitled to it under the law.
This case proves that companies and government agencies can move quickly and amicably to resolve disputes and avoid trials (which can be largely avoided if a company is compliant). The payout is sizable, but not steep, especially for a company with international name recognition and the financial assets that can sustain it. A trial could have commanded a much larger settlement for the company.