This July, the EEOC received a $166,500 jury verdict against a Subway franchise for discriminating against a hearing impaired woman, Tammy Gitsham. The EEOC presented evidence that Ms. Gitsham was forced to resign her position after both the owner and human resources/training manager repeatedly mocked her privately and in front of other employees, creating a hostile workplace, with taunts such as: “Read My Lips” and “Can you hear me now?” and “You got your ears on?” because she is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids. The Dallas jury awarded former area supervisor $66,500 for lost wages and emotional harm and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages in the EEOC’s suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Shockingly this Subway franchise still is not aware of the hazard of discriminating against its employees. As part of the Subway franchise I would hope that training was available to help educate the owners with the do’s and don’ts of employee relationships. Hopefully this verdict will be a wakeup call for Subway. Employers need to learn the law against discrimination and effectively train their employees to limit discrimination in the workplace.