Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement aimed at employees and employers in light of the current news coverage surrounding a former server of a Phoenix Outback Steakhouse who was fired because of a traumatic brain injury, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC charged Outback with firing server John Woods days after a new manager took over at Outback’s Phoenix Metrocenter location. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against the restaurant, Woods had worked successfully under Outback’s prior manager, but a new manager terminated Woods because of his disability, traumatic brain injury.
“Disability discrimination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but unfortunately what happened to Mr. Woods – being fired because of his disability – is unfortunately a common issue,” said Shegerian. “A textbook example of being victimized by discrimination, Mr. Woods’ situation has been handled appropriately by the EEOC and the Arizona courts, but too many similar situations go unreported or ignored. What companies and employees alike need to realize is that disability discrimination is illegal. Any discrimination of a person in his or her place of work due to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability is illegal, in fact. We hope that stories like this one will encourage others who have been wronged to come forward and seek justice.”