The EEOC is suing a Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits franchisee, alleging it illegally refused to hire an HIV-positive man for a job at a Longview restaurant. In its complaint, the EEOC claims Famous Chicken of Shreveport violated the ADA when it refused to hire the well-qualified applicant because of his condition.
On his application, the man listed years of fast food experience, including a stint as a general manager. But the manager at the Longview Popeye’s seemed more interested in why the applicant had left his previous job—he had written “medical” as the reason on the job application. When the hiring manager continued to probe, the applicant revealed his HIV-positive status.
The interview allegedly ended with the applicant being told he would not be hired because he is HIV-positive.
The EEOC filed suit after attempting to resolve the dispute through its conciliation process.
Note: Popeye’s may be headed from the frying pan into the fire as it tries to defend its manager’s actions. Both asking an applicant specific health questions before making a conditional job offer and refusing to hire someone because of his HIV status violate the ADA. If the EEOC can prove either action, Popeye’s will almost certainly get burned.
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