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McDonald’s To Pay Six Figures Over Fired HIV-Positive Employee


The fast food chain settled out of court after reportedly firing an employee within days of learning of his HIV-positive status.

After first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the Mathews Management and Peach Orchard, Inc — which owns the McDonalds franchise in question in Bentonville, Arkansas on behalf of the defendent, named "John  Doe" in the suit. They cited that the firing violated the the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit also charged that the companies' policy of requiring all employees to report the use of prescription medication is also unlawful.

In a statement to the press, Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the agency's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi, said, “In addition to the monetary payment, the companies will also conduct disability training for its managers and revise their policy requiring mandatory disclosure of prescription medications. EEOC remains committed to protecting employees from disability discrimination on the job.”

The settlement amount totaling $103,000 was to recoup back pay, recover punitive damages and end the defendant’s alleged discrimination according to Reuters. The suit did not name the McDonalds Corporation itself, only the franchise.

This is a remarkable victory for the EEOC and people living with HIV especially with the ominous rhetoric emerging from the nascent Trump administration in recent days.


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