$100,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Fast Food Chain Franchisee

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Alia Corporation, a franchisee  with over 20 fast-food chain restaurants throughout Central California, agreed  to pay $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

The EEOC originally filed suit against the Merced,  Calif.-based company in 2011 on behalf of Derrick Morgan, a former floor  supervisor with an intellectual disability (EEOC v. Alia Corporation, Case  No. 1:11-cv-01549-LJO-BAM, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of  California).  Morgan was known to be a good employee and  promoted by previous management from crew member to superĀ­visor in 2008.  The EEOC contends that once Alia took over,  Alia management demoted Morgan to a janitorial position, cut his hours and reduced  his hourly wages, thereby forcing him to find other employment and resign by  June 2009.   The EEOC's lawsuit argued  that Alia Corporation thus engaged in disability discrimination that violated  the Americans with Disabilities Act  (ADA).

The parties entered into a three-year  consent decree requiring Alia to hire an equal employment opportunity (EEO) monitor  to create anti-discrimination policies and procedures; a complaint process and  impartial investigations; a centralized tracking system for discrimination  complaints; a system to hold employees accountable for discrimination; and,  annual live disability discrimination training for all management and human  resources employees.  The $100,000 in  monetary relief shall be paid entirely to Morgan.  The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement. 

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