content top

Maverik Agrees To Pay $115,000 To Settle EEOC Lawsuit For Disability Discrimination

Employee Unlawfully Fired Because of HIV Status, Federal Agency Charged

DENVER – Maverik, Inc., doing business as Maverik Country Stores,  a billion-dollar company operating approximately 200 gas station/convenience  stores in 10 western states, will pay $115,000 and furnish other relief  to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  The lawsuit, filed on Sept. 30, 2010 in federal court in Cheyenne, Wyo.,  charged Maverik with violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by allegedly  failing to accommodate and then firing an HIV-positive bakery clerk.

According to public filings in the lawsuit, EEOC v. Maverik, Inc., d/b/a Maverik  Country Stores, 10-cv-0212-F, Maverik learned of the employee’s HIV status  when it was disclosed in a workers’ compensation proceeding. The employee, who had worked for the company  over three years, was fired two weeks later because of an alleged fear that he  should not be working with food. The EEOC  also said that Maverik failed to make reasonable accommodations for the  employee.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the three-year consent  decree resolving the lawsuit prohibits Maverik from further discriminating  based on disability and requires the company to review its written ADA  non-discrimination policy. The decree  also requires Maverik to provide ADA training to  its Wyoming  work force and to higher-level supervisors and managers company-wide. Maverik is required to post an ADA notice in each of its Wyoming locations and to make periodic  reports to the EEOC.

“The ADA prohibits employers from terminating employees because of  irrational fears about disabilities,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary  Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District, which includes Wyoming.  “HIV/AIDS has been recognized as a disability under the ADA, and there is nothing about having HIV  which should preclude an individual from working with food.”

EEOC Denver Field Office  Director Nancy Sienko said, “In 2010, almost 100,000 charges of  discrimination were received by the EEOC, about 25 percent of which were based  on alleged ADA  violations. The EEOC stands ready to  assist any job applicant or employee who believes he or she is the victim of  employment discrimination because of a disability or any other prohibited basis.”

On July 13, 2010, President Barack Obama charged federal agencies to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, one goal of which is to better serve people living with HIV—including by preventing barriers to employment of people with HIV.

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.  The Phoenix District Office covers Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and  part of New Mexico. Further information  is available on the EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that the materials contained within this web site have been prepared by Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. for informational purposes only so that readers may learn more about the firm, the services it provides the background of its attorneys, and recent developments in the law. These materials do not constitute, and should not be considered, legal advice, and you are urged to consult with an attorney on your own specific legal matters. Transmission of the information contained in the Jennings, Strouss & Salmon web site is not intended to create, and receipt by the reader does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon or any of its individual attorneys. While we would certainly like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Please do not send us any information about a matter that may involve you until you receive written authorization to do so from one of our attorneys. Unless otherwise indicated in individual attorney biographies, attorneys resident in the firm's various offices are not certified by the Board of Legal Specialization or a similar body of any State. This site may contain hyperlinks to Web sites operated by parties' independent from Jennings, Strouss & Salmon. Such hyperlinks are provided for your reference only. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon does not control such Web sites, and is not responsible for their content. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon's inclusion of hyperlinks to such Web sites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such Web sites or any association with their content. Your access and use of such sites, including information, material, products, and services therein, shall be solely at your own risk. Further, because the privacy policy of this Site is applicable only when you are on this Site, once linked to another Web site, you should read that site's privacy policy before disclosing any personal information.