An autistic man who was interested in working at an Illinois Chick-fil-A claims in a lawsuit against the fast food chain that he was dissuaded from applying for a job after the restaurant’s manager said people with disabilities wouldn’t do well there.
According to the 25-year-old’s lawsuit, he’d done well working at a Bakers Square restaurant as part of a work-study program in 2013, Courthouse News reports. He worked with a job coach in an effort to get a full-time job, and set his sights on Chick-fil-A in 2014.
Though the branch manager wasn’t around on his visit, the man’s job coach returned later to talk to him, the lawsuit says, but was told that the restaurant wasn’t interested in hiring anyone with disabilities.
“When the job coach reiterated that she thought [the plaintiff] would do a good job, the branch manager stated that people with disabilities would not be able to succeed at Chick-fil-A,” the complaint states. “Because of the branch manager’s statements, [the plaintiff] did not complete a formal employment application to work at Chick-fil-A.”
The lawsuit accuses Chick-fil-A of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by saying it would not hire any person with a disability, not making an individualized assessment of his ability to perform the work, and failing to examine whether any accommodation would address concerns about his ability. He’s seeking compensatory, punitive damages and back pay.
Chick-fil-A said it was working with its legal department on a reply to Courthouse News’ request for comment.