Chick-fil-A, Inc. and its Orlando Park, Illinois, outpost are being sued by James Kwon, a potential job applicant who claims he was blocked from pursuing employment at the fast-food chain because he is autistic.
Kwon visited Chick-fil-A with a job coach in the hopes of obtaining a job similar to the one he had had at a Bakers Square restaurant for a work-study program. However, the branch manager wasn’t available, Court House News reported.
According to the complaint filed Dec. 23, Kwon’s job coach went back to the location and spoke with branch manager Laura Sanchez about Kwon’s ability to capably perform his duties, as he had done at Bakers Square.
In response, Sanchez allegedly said the company wasn’t interested in hiring people with disabilities and that they would not be able to succeed at Chick-fil-A.
Kwon has accused the fast-food chain of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act based on Sanchez’s alleged claim and is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, and back pay with interest.
A Chick-fil-A representative released a statement from the owner and operator of the Orlando Park Chick-fil-A location regarding Kwon’s lawsuit:
"Chick-fil-A at Orland Park is aware of Mr. Kwon's lawsuit and strenuously denies violating any laws. Our restaurant does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated Mr. Kwon’s allegations and did not find cause to believe that discrimination occurred."