Austin’s Park N Pizza, a Pflugerville-based amusement park, is being sued by federal officials for disability discrimination after it allegedly terminated an employee with intellectual disabilities. The employee, who had been working at Austin’s for about four years prior to his termination, sustained a traumatic brain injury as a child which has left him mentally impaired since. However, he was always able to perform his duties, which mostly included maintenance and custodial work.
Failure to Provide Reasonable AccommodationThe problem did not arise until more recently, when the company adopted a new timekeeping system. The employee had been having issues figuring out the new system and when his mother realized that he hadn’t been paid in months, she called the company and asked that they find some way to provide reasonable accommodations. Unfortunately, Austin’s elected instead to fire the employee.
This alleged act of disability discrimination may constitute a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was written to specifically prohibit this kind of discriminatory conduct.
“There was a very simple solution for keeping track of the employee’s time that was rejected by the company,” said an EEOC senior trial attorney on behalf of his client. “Austin’s Park N Pizza made a conscious decision to terminate him instead of accommodating his disability”
The case will go to court soon as a pre-litigation settlement could not be reached. The lawsuit demands that Austin’s pay the former employee for unpaid wages, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief.
Atkerson Law – Dallas employment lawyer