LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a lawsuit against a McDonald’s restaurant owned and operated by Mathews Management Co. and Peach Orchard Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, for allegations of firing an employee due to his HIV-positive status.

The employee at the quick service restaurant was allegedly fired just days after the company found out about his HIV status. Alleged conduct of this nature violates federal law, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

EEOC seeks monetary relief that includes back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and compensation for lost benefits. It will also look for injunctive relief against future discrimination by the company.

"The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve success in the workplace," Katharine W. Kores, district director of EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi, said. "People with HIV face enough obstacles in their lives. The ability to work in an environment free of discrimination should not be one of them."

Matthews Management Co. owns and operates 34 McDonald’s restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

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