Many Massachusetts workers are familiar with the sandwich shop chain Subway. One of its former workers from another state claims that he was the victim of workplace discrimination. A lawsuit has since been filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to try to right the wrongs against him.
The plaintiff claims that after he discovered he was HIV positive, he revealed his condition to his manager. His manager began to question him and ask him what would happen if he were to cut himself while working and what would happen if customers discovered that an HIV positive employee was working with their food. She then purportedly told the plaintiff that she would have to take the situation to her district manager.
The man later lost his job over the phone after his manager purportedly said he may become a liability at work. A lawyer for the EEOC stated that the plaintiff should not have lost his job just because he revealed he was HIV positive. She also stated that ignorance and fear are not excuses for firing people with medical conditions either.
According to the complaint, Subway engaged in workplace discrimination because of the plaintiff's disability. It is also claimed that these actions constitute violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the case is successfully presented, the plaintiff may be awarded the monetary damages and lost wages as well as any other financial relief the court deems just. The EEOC is also hoping that injunctive relief will be ordered so that Subway cannot have incidents like this occur going forward. Those in Massachusetts who believe they have been discriminated against at work may benefit by consulting with an experienced employment law attorney.
Source: fox59.com, "Subway restaurant in Sheridan sued after firing HIV-positive employee", Kylee Wierks, Sept. 29, 2015