Texas Restaurant Sued For Firing Employee Over His HIV Status

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A former employee of a Texas restaurant is suing the establishment after he says they fired him for being HIV-positive.

According to the Texarkana Gazette, Nicholas Watson filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint on October 20. Watson did so against Hopkins Icehouse Holdings LLC. In the lawsuit, Watson says that the manager of a Hopkins Icehouse in Texarkana, Texas fired him in March 2019. Watson specified that this termination happened because of his HIV status. At the time, the general manager referred to Watson’s status as a disability and said, “We’re worried its going to affect business, like revenue.”

In response, Watson, who no longer lives in the town, said that he was able to perform his job without a problem or any need for accommodation. Despite that, Watson was fired anyway. Now, the lawsuit claims that the termination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and was done with “malice or reckless indifference” to Watson’s rights.

As compensation, Watson, who’s being represented by Lennie Bollinger, has asked for back pay, front pay, loss of fringe benefits, and loss of bonuses. The lawsuit also asks for punitive damages, attorney fees, and court costs.

That case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III and a first hearing has yet to be scheduled.


Source: Texarkana Gazette,

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