The owners of a McDonald’s franchise has paid out a six figure sum to a man who was fired for being HIV positive.
In a legal complaint against Mathews Management Co and Peace Orchard Inc, the Equal Opportunity Commission said the employer violated the Disabilities Act.
The worker was fired in February 2015 after admitting to the restaurant’s general manager to having had ‘an interest’ in a co-worker, and told the co-worker about his HIV-positive status. The fast food managers was also accused of forcing its workers to report what medication they are taking.
He had been hired in November 2014, and said his duties included cleaning, operating the register, working the drive-thru window, and opening and closing the restaurant.
The EEOC sought to recoup back pay, recover punitive damages, and end the defendants’ discrimination.
Mathews will now pay more than $103,000 (€97,000) to settle the lawsuit.
In addition, the restaurant company will also conduct disability training for its managers.
‘People with HIV face enough obstacles in their lives,’ Katharine Kores, an EEOC district director said in a statement to Reuters. ‘The ability to work in an environment free of discrimination should not be one of them.’
Mathews operates 34 McDonald’s restaurants, while Peach Orchard operated the restaurant in Bentonville, Arkansas. McDonald’s Corp was not listed as a defendant.