$125,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Papa John's Pizza in Utah

 
Monday, January 30, 2017
 
The owners of a Farmington, Utah Papa John's Pizza will pay $125,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to EEOC's lawsuit, Papa John's discriminated against Scott Bonn, who has an intellectual disability, Down syndrome. EEOC alleged that Papa John's employed Bonn successfully at its Farmington location for more than five months and allowed an independently employed and insured job coach to assist him. EEOC further charged that after an operating partner visited the Farmington location and observed Bonn working with the assistance of his job coach, the operating partner ordered Papa John's local management to fire Bonn.

Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities because of their disabilities or from failing to reasonably accommodate their disabilities. In appropriate circumstances, such as those in this lawsuit, the use of a job coach is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. PJ Utah LLC, PJ Cheese, Inc., PJ United, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-00695-TC) in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, Papa John's is required to pay $125,000 to Bonn, review its equal employment opportunity policies, conduct training for management and human resources employees for its restaurants in Utah, and establish a new recruitment program for individuals with disabilities in Utah.
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