Colorado woman accuses Chick-fil-A of cutting her hours and pay after breast cancer surgery
A Colorado woman accused the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain of discrimination for cutting her hours and her medical insurance after she underwent a double mastectomy to fend off breast cancer, KMGH-TV reported.
“What else could it be?” Daphne Richards was quoted as saying. “I’m receiving my bills now from my surgery. They’re astronomical. I’m wondering, ‘Is this raising her premiums? Is she worried about the future surgeries?’
Richards filed a complaint with the state civil rights commission saying her weekly schedule was reduced from 40 or more hours to 10 to 15 hours when she was cleared to return to work at a Chick-fil-A location in Thornton, Colorado last week.
TThe complaint also accuses store owner Barrie Goettsche of cutting Richards’ pay from $14 an hour to $10 per hour, and ending her health care benefits after September. A company spokesperson said that Goettsche is an independent franchise owner, meaning that Richards is not a corporate employee of Chick-fil-A.
Frederick Schaefe, an attorney for the company, told KMGH that the restaurant “stepped up” for Richards when she was diagnosed with breast cancer this past May.
“Even though she didn’t qualify for continuing benefits during her work hiatus under the Family Medical Leave Act, the store continued to pay for her health insurance coverage during her medical leave,” Schaefe said.
Schaefe also said that Richards, who moved to Colorado from Indiana in hopes of working her way into a management position, had been “written up” at least twice before taking her leave.
Richards challenged that argument, showing KMGH a letter that Goettsche wrote a month before her diagnosis complimenting her performance.
“Daphne is a very sensitive, loving and compassionate person,” Richards said, reading from the letter. “I know she will continue to be a valuable asset and resource to the restaurant as she gains more experience, responsibility and time under her belt.”
Schaefe also argued that Goettsche “offered” to reduce Richards’ workload out of concern over the effects of her surgery, and has now offered to let her work between 30 and 35 hours a week.
Watch KMGH’s report, as aired on Wednesday, below.
[h/t Daily Kos]