Restaurant To Pay $90,000 To Settle Harassment And Discrimination
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 25, 2006
PHOENIX, ARIZONA--A restaurant chain has agreed to pay $90,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of a former worker with developmental disabilities.
The case involved Sally Case, who worked at a Phoenix Luby's restaurant from 1998 to 2000.
After she left the company, case claimed that restaurant managers and her coworkers harassed her by, among other things, telling her to "shut up", calling her a "retard", barking at her and calling her a dog, hiding her bicycle in the men's restroom, and threatening to cut off her arm with a band saw.
The Arizona Center for Disability Law filed the suit, which was joined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that, in addition to the harassment, Luby's failed to reasonably accommodate Case's needs under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and essentially forced her to quit.
Luby's had argued that Case did not have a disability and therefore was not protected under the ADA. But a federal judge ruled that the ACDL and EEOC had provided enough evidence that she has an intellectual disability and a disability similar to cerebral palsy for the case to go to a jury.
The agencies sought back pay with interest and both compensatory and punitive damages. They also asked the court for an injunction prohibiting Luby's from discriminating against workers with disabilities in the future.
In addition to the $90,000 for Case, the EEOC said Luby's has agreed to review its policies and provide more employee training regarding disability discrimination.
"Disability bias suit against Luby's restaurant chain will go to jury" (CCH Online via Berkshire Associates)