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Burger King to pay applicant $30K to settle suit

The operators of a Lawton-area Burger King restaurant agreed to pay a job applicant with an intellectual disability $30,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a consent decree filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

The decree resolves a suit filed by the EEOC in July 2018 alleging that Houston-based fuel retailer Northwest Petroleum, LP and Burger King franchisee Travis County Investments, LP violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by withdrawing a job offer from an applicant who had applied for a position as a dining room attendant.

Because of the applicant’s disability, he needed a job coach to assist him in his employment, according to the second amended complaint filed Oct. 18. The applicant had previously held similar jobs at fast food restaurants with the assistance of a job coach.

During the applicant’s job interview, a representative from Community Access Inc. in Lawton went with the applicant to facilitate communications and explain the role of a job coach, according to the complaint.

Initially the company hired the applicant, according to the complaint, but later withdrew the job offer when the applicant requested a job coach provide support at no cost to the company. The company said they never offered the applicant a job and that they could not allow persons “behind the counter” who were not one of their employees and they did not provide or employ job coaches.

The EEOC alleged that the company refused to provide the applicant with a reasonable accommodation by allowing him the use of a job coach and refused to hire him because of his intellectual disability.

The Lawton Constitution

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