Broward County, Florida’s Hillsboro Club faces a proposed class action wherein a former dishwasher alleges he and other workers did not receive proper notice upon being terminated at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 33-page case alleges the private-residence club violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by failing to provide at least 60 days’ notice before conducting a mass layoff in March or April 2020. According to the suit, the plaintiff and at least 55 other employees were laid off around that time, and another 35 were laid off by the Hillsboro Club in June, without the requisite notice or being paid wages, benefits, commissions or accrued vacation for 60 working days following the layoff.
The 56-year-old plaintiff, who the complaint says lived at the property as an employment benefit, also alleges he was discriminated against on the basis of age, sex and a disability for which he was required to wear a cardiac event monitor after undergoing a series of life-threatening medical procedures and treatment related to heart and lung diseases.
The plaintiff alleges that when the Hillsboro Club temporarily closed in 2020, he was “specifically promised” that he was going to be the first person offered continued employment as a cook/salad cook/line cook upon the club’s reopening. The man alleges that instead, he was offered a job as a dishwasher upon the club’s reopening, and that his former cook position was given to a younger female employee.
Prior to that, from around April through November 2020, the plaintiff underwent a series of life-threatening medical procedures and treatment, including surgery, related to heart and lung disease, for which he was required by his doctor to wear a cardiac event monitor. According to the case, the plaintiff’s heart condition qualifies as a disability since it restricts the man from certain everyday activities.
The plaintiff alleges that one day, upon going to pick up his mail, he met with the Hillsboro Club’s events director, who noticed he was wearing the cardiac event monitor. According to the suit, the event director asked the plaintiff what the device was, if he needed to wear it all the time, and if he was ok to work, among other comments.
The case claims that later that day, the plaintiff went to see the Hillsboro Club’s general manager to request a reasonable accommodation and confirm that he was fit to work and that the cardiac event monitor did not and would not interfere with his responsibilities. The plaintiff learned, however, that the manager was in a meeting with the club’s events director and new chef, the suit says.
Moments later, the plaintiff was told that he was being terminated because “Defendant did not need him anymore,” the lawsuit alleges. Per the case, the defendant made no good faith effort to accommodate the plaintiff’s “disability or perceived disability.”
“Defendant intentionally engaged in unlawful employment practices and discrimination in violation of the [Americans with Disabilities Act] by treating Plaintiff differently than similarly situated employees in the terms and conditions of his employment,” the case alleges, claiming the plaintiff was fired due to his disability.
The lawsuit looks to cover all Hillsboro Club employees who lost their employment with the company from about late March or early April 2020 to June 2020, or within 30 days of that date, without receiving 60 days’ advance written notice of the layoff.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.
Camp Lejeune residents may soon have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.