Press Release 03-02-2010

McDonald's Franchise to Pay $90,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Disabled Worker Physically Threatened and Harassed, Federal Agency Said

PHILADELPHIA  – Alstrun LLP, which used to own and operate a Philadelphia McDonald's, will  pay $90,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal  discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a worker with an intellectual disability, the  U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The EEOC  alleged in the suit that Timothy Artis, a lot and lobby worker at the  McDonald's at 7600 City Line    Avenue, was unlawfully harassed based on his  intellectual disability, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act  (ADA). Even though Artis successfully  performed his job duties, his super­visors, other managers and co-workers  repeatedly called him offensive and degrading names because of his  disability. The harassment included physical  shoving and threats, including one occasion when a co-worker threatened Artis with  a box cutter, the EEOC charged in its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for  the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 09-4347.

Artis's  mother complained repeatedly to store officials about the harassment, but the  restaurant failed to take appropriate action to stop it. Artis was subsequently compelled to quit due  to the unchecked verbal and physical abuse, according to the EEOC.

The ADA prohibits  discrimination and harassment based on disability. The EEOC attempted to reach a settlement  out of court before filing suit.

In addition to  paying $90,000 to Artis, the two-year consent decree settling the suit provides  important equitable relief, including enjoining Alstrun from discriminating  based on disability in the future. Alstrun  will post and maintain EEOC remedial notices and posters. Further, Alstrun must train all managers and  supervisors about the ADA's  protections against disability discrimination and provide reports to the agency  about the resolution of any disability discrimination complaints it receives.

"The ADA requires employers to provide a work environment free  from unlawful abuse and harassment," said Acting Regional Attorney Debra  Lawrence of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland  and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. "We are pleased that Alstrun worked with us to resolve this lawsuit for  satisfactory monetary relief and equitable remedies designed to prevent future  harassment or discrimination."

During Fiscal Year 2009, disability  discrimination charges reached a record level of 21,451-- an increase of 10  percent from the prior fiscal year.

According  to company records, Alstrun LLP now operates McDonald's franchises in Brookhaven  and Parksburg, Pa.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination. Further information  about the EEOC is available on its web site at