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Press Release 09-13-2021

EEOC Sues Arizona Subway Franchise for Disability Discrimination

Buckeye Fast Food Restaurant Discriminated Against an Employee With Autism and ADHD, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX – RCC Partners, LLC, doing business as Subway 701 in Buckeye, Arizona, violated federal law when it failed to accommodate an employee with autism and ADHD and then fired because he had a disability and/or need for accommodation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on Friday.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Subway 701 hired Kenneth Wiley in 2019 after his mother explained to the restaurant that Wiley needed accommodations because of his disability. The EEOC said that Subway 701 knew from that conversation that Wiley would need specific instructions for tasks, re¬direction, and someone to follow up to make sure he understood the task. But, the EEOC said, Subway did not provide those accommodations when Wiley started work. Instead, Subway 701 fired Wiley after only four shifts because of his disability and/or his need for accommodation.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (EEOC v. RCC Partners, LLC d/b/a Subway 701, Case No. 2:21-cv-01551) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

 “Individuals with autism unfortunately still face incredibly high levels of unemployment and underemployment,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “The EEOC will continue to fight the discrimination that helps keep so many people with autism from full employment.”

The district director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, Elizabeth Cadle, said, “Employers must take the time to carefully consider whether an employee can perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation. If they do not consider reasonable accommodations, they may lose an excellent employee—and violate the law.”

The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.