Amusement Park Settles ADA Lawsuit Over Nonaccomodation for Clock-in Procedure

An employee with intellectual challenges is just as much entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the law as someone with a physical disability.

That lesson was brought home to an amusement park in Austin, Texas, which has just agreed to pay $20,000 to settle allegations that it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by refusing to accommodate an intellectually challenged employee by considering an alternative clock-in procedure.

The lawsuit alleged that Austin’s FEC, LLC and Austin Entertainment Center, LP d/b/a Austin’s Park N Pizza violated the rights of 26-year=old former employee with a disability, caused by childhood traumatic brain injuries, who worked part-time on weekends for four years at Austin’s Park N Pizza, an amusement park and restaurant.

The employee successfully performed custodial work, assisted with the miniature golf area and cleared tables, the EEOC said. When new management arrived, the company decided he was no longer able to do the job because he did not correctly operate a new electronic system for clocking in and out of work.

In its suit, EEOC said, the company was unwilling to consider an alternative clock-in procedure. Although a reasonable accommodation could have easily resolved the problem, Austin’s Park N Pizza stopped paying the former employee and notified him by email that he was fired, the agency charged.

“People with intellectual disabilities can be very productive employees with minimal assistance or direction,” said EEOC San Antonio Field Office Senior Trial Attorney David Rivela. “Employers can benefit from such productivity by treating workers with disabilities fairly and decently, and ensuring that reasonable accommodation requests are properly addressed.”

Read more about the settlement.

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