Derrick Morgan was hired as a crew member at a McDonald’s franchise and then promoted to shift supervisor, where he successfully preformed all his job duties despite having cerebral palsy. Within a few months of Alia Corporation, which operates over 20 McDonald’s franchise locations, buying and taking over the franchise, the disability discrimination started. Alia Corporation took repeated actions in an effort to make it look like Morgan quit. This tactic of discrimination rarely works. First, Alia demoted Morgan from shift manager to a janitorial position without any good reason. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the act of demoting Morgan, in and of itself, was a sufficient adverse employment action to support of claim of disability discrimination. When this humiliating demotion did not get Morgan to quit, Alia continued to reduce his hours nearly in half. Again, under the ADA, this is another separate act that would support a disability discrimination claim. When Morgan still refused to quit, Alia then reduced his hourly wages – yet another separate basis for a ADA disability discrimination claim. This was the final straw. Faces with an untenable reduction to his income, Morgan was forced to quit.
Employment Discrimination Attorneys call this “constructive discharge.” Under both Ohio and federal laws, if employment conditions or the employer’s mistreatment treatment is so severe that a reasonable person cannot continue to work, then the employee may quit and be consider terminated. This prevents the type of squeeze play attempted by Alia. Without allowing claims for constructive discharge, more employers would simply continue to ratchet up the adverse treatment and then claim that they cannot be liable because the employee chose to quit.
The result in this case? Alia settled the disability discrimination case by paying $100,000 and other non-monetary relief. The average yearly income for McDonalds’s shift managers is about $18,000-$20,000 per year. As such, this attempted squeeze backfired to the tune of over five years earnings – not including the non-monetary relief and the money that the employer had to spend on attorneys’ fees defending the action.
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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