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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
9-23-10

Kentucky Waffle House Agrees To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Employee Fired Because of Hepatitis C, Federal Agency Charged

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The owner of a Mount Vernon, Ky., Waffle House restaurant has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's suit (Civil Action No. 6:08-cv-381-GFVT in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Central Division), Bluegrass Waffle, doing business as Waffle House, fired an employee after she voluntarily informed the restaurant of she had been diagnosed with the Hepatitis C virus.

Disability discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities as long as this does not pose an undue hardship on the business. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

The parties negotiated a consent decree which provides the employee with back pay and also provides for injunctive relief in the form of training and an agreement not to discriminate or retaliate further under Title VII and the ADA.

“The EEOC is here to protect the rights of workers who have disabilities from unfair treatment by their employers or prospective employers,” said EEOC Indianapolis District Office Regional Attorney Laurie Young.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.