Papa John’s Pizza Settles Disability Discrimination Case for Over $100,000, Resolving Allegations Made by Visually Impaired Employee

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In a settlement exceeding $100,000, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission revealed that Papa John’s Pizza will pay $175,000 to Michael Barnes, a visually impaired individual who was denied accommodation and terminated before commencing work.

Papa John's Pizza Settles Disability Discrimination Case for Over $100,000, Resolving Allegations Made by Visually Impaired Employee
Papa John’s Pizza Settles Disability Discrimination Case for Over $100,000, Resolving Allegations Made by Visually Impaired Employee ( Photo: Tasting Table )

Papa John’s Pizza, the fourth-largest pizza delivery chain in the nation, has resolved disability discrimination allegations brought by a recently hired employee in 2020

This action is deemed a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities across various domains, including employment. Karla Gilbride, part of the EEOC’s general counsel, emphasized the importance of providing confidence and independence for blind and visually impaired individuals in commuting to work.

In addition to the financial settlement, Papa John’s Pizza has committed to training its workforce on the Americans with Disabilities Act, reviewing employment policies, and allowing EEOC oversight on discrimination or retaliation complaints. Barnes, who had sought employment at a Papa John’s Pizza restaurant in Athens, Georgia, using a service dog due to legal blindness, faced rejection of his accommodation request, leading to his pre-employment termination.

Papa John’s Pizza has chosen to settle the lawsuit, expressing commitment to being an inclusive employer

The company stated its dedication to equal opportunity and affirmed ongoing financial compensation and relief for Barnes over the next two years. EEOC, pleased with the resolution, underscored the ADA’s role in safeguarding the rights of workers and employees with disabilities.

 

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