First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Disabled Burger King Worker in ADA Accommodation Case

Though the decision handed down by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in a case brought by a disabled Burger King employee may seem harsh, the First Circuit stands firm in the judgment because, as stated in court documents, “the law is the law.” After Burger King employee Victor Sepulveda-Vargas was traumatized from a late-night robbery at the restaurant, Sepulveda-Vargas was found to qualify as a disabled individual under the American Disabilities Act. As a result, Sepulveda-Vargas requested an accommodation to his schedule under the act, allowing him to be the only manager with a set schedule. While the restaurant owners originally agreed to the accommodation, they later informed Sepulveda-Vargas they could no longer offer a set schedule because a rotating schedule was essential to the job functions of a manager in their restaurants, and the schedule was unfair to other managers who were forced to take on more undesirable shifts to accommodate Sepulveda-Varga’s new schedule. Rotating schedules are included in the job description for the position Sepulveda-Vargas held, and are implemented to distribute undesirable shifts, such as late night and early morning shifts, equally among managers. Find out why the First Circuit said the restaurant did not have to honor the employee’s schedule accommodation here.