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Texas restaurant sued for workplace discrimination

When a person applies for a job, they expect to be judged on their skills, level of professionalism and their merits -- not on their physical condition. However, some companies do pay more attention to the latter and automatically disqualify a job candidate from joining their teams. This is the recent situation of one person in Texas who has faced workplace discrimination.

The company that owns and operates many Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits franchises, called Famous Chicken of Shreveport LLC, was recently sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for violating federal law. The EEOC said that the company discriminated against a man who was applying for a job there because he was HIV-positive. The applicant's experience and skills were overlooked because of his medical condition.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a company has to make reasonable accommodations to job applicants and workers if their disabilities do not pose an undue hardship on the company. The Food and Drug Administration said that HIV does not pose a problem in the workplace because it cannot be transmitted to food. If the EEOC suit is successful, the man who was discriminated against will receive compensatory damages as well as lost wages. In addition, punitive damages are being sought against the company.

Companies are banned against from discriminating against applicants because of their physical conditions. If someone does experience unfair treatment on this basis, they have the right to file a workplace discrimination suit in Texas. A successful lawsuit could result in remedies such as out-of-pocket expenses connected to the claim and even compensatory damages for emotional distress.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Popeye's Chicken Franchisee Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination, No author, Sept. 12, 2013

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