ILNews

Dairy Queen did not discriminate against blind employee

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a firm that operates Dairy Queens in Indianapolis on a former employee’s claim the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Joshua Bunn, who is legally blind, worked exclusively in the “Expo” department in the restaurant, in which employees deliver food to dine-in customers and keep the store and dining area clean. Bunn’s manager, Larry Johnson, originally had Bunn move around to the different departments to work, as is done with other employees, but he found Bunn could best perform his duties in the Expo department with minimal accommodation.

Bunn quit in February 2011, telling Johnson he thought he could work more hours with another employer. Bunn was working full time, but his hours became reduced during the winter months. He also had served a 10-day suspension in November 2010 due to insubordinate conduct toward a supervisor.

After he quit, he sued Khoury Enterprises, the firm that owned the Dairy Queen, alleging the restaurant failed to accommodate his disability as required by law and it subjected him to illegal disparate treatment when it reduced his scheduled hours in the winter months. The District Court ruled in favor of Khoury Enterprises.

In Joshua Bunn v. Khoury Enterprises Inc., 13-2292, the 7th Circuit affirmed. The judges found his failure-to-accommodate claims fell short because his employer did reasonably accommodate his disability. His disparate treatment claim failed too because Bunn did not introduce sufficient evidence to create a triable issue of material fact under either the direct or indirect method of proof. The undisputed facts show that Khoury Enterprises is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

 

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