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Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Orders Harrisburg Fast-Food Business to Pay Former Cook More than $21,879 for Disability Discrimination

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission today ordered CL&J Incorporated, owner of Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits, located in Harrisburg, to pay Joseph C. Keegan of Harrisburg $19,800, plus interest, for discriminating against him because of his disabilities.

Keegan filed a complaint on June 27, 2012, alleging that Popeye's fired him because of his disabilities, which were unrelated to his job as a prep cook.

CL&J failed to file a legal answer to the complaint, and then failed to respond to a legal order to do so. The commission then held the company liable for unlawful discrimination.

The commission held a public hearing to determine damages, and ordered the company to:

  • cease discriminating against employees because of their disabilities;
  • reinstate Keegan into his former job or a comparable job;
  • pay Keegan front pay of $225 per week until he is reinstated or finds other work paying at least $225 per week; and
  • pay Keegan $19,800, plus interest, for unpaid wages from the date of his firing until payment is paid. To date, interest brings Keegan's back-pay award to $21,879.

"Workers with disabilities bring talent, enthusiasm and loyalty to their employers," Commission Chairman Gerry Robinson said. "Denying a person with disabilities the opportunity to work is not only bad for business, it's against the law."

The company has 30 days to report to the commission on how it will comply with the order.

Learn more about illegal discrimination and equal employment opportunity in Pennsylvania at

Media contact: Shannon Powers, 717-783-8266

SOURCE Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

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