Chick-Fil-A Sued for Employment Discrimination

Red Chick Fil A sign on a building

by Andy Jones
January 16, 2017

Equip for Equality filed a federal lawsuit December 23, 2016, against one of the nation’s largest fast-food chains, on behalf of a man with autism allegedly blocked from applying for a position at one of its branch locations.

James Kwon, of Orland Park, Illinois, worked at a restaurant in 2013, as part of a work study program. He then worked with a job coach, with the goal of landing a full-time job.

When he applied for a position at the Chick-fil-A location in Orland Park, however, the branch manager flatly refused to even let Kwon apply.

“The branch manager responded that Chick-fil-A was not interested in hiring people with disabilities,” the lawsuit states. “When the job coach reiterated that she thought James would do a good job, the branch manager stated that people with disabilities would not be able to succeed at Chick-fil-A.”

The lawsuit asserts a range of Americans with Disabilities Act violations against the Atlanta-based corporation, including the company’s alleged failure to individually assess Kwon’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions and its failure to examine whether a reasonable accommodation would address any alleged concerns.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

The five-page complaint can be read here.
Disability Rights Washington and Equip for Equality are the designated protection and advocacy agencies in Washington and Illinois, respectively, and are members of the National Disability Rights Network.