The EEOC is suing Papa John's for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Disability Scoop)

The EEOC is suing Papa John’s for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Disability Scoop)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing Papa John’s Pizza of discrimination after an employee with Down syndrome was fired, allegedly because he needed the assistance of a job coach.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, the federal agency said that Scott Bonn successfully worked at a Papa John’s in Farmington, Utah with the assistance of an independently employed job coach.

That came to an end, however, when a Papa John’s operating partner visited the location and ordered that Bonn be fired after seeing him working with assistance, the suit alleges.

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The EEOC is accusing Papa John’s of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide reasonable accommodation, which can include a job coach if needed.

“People with intellectual disabilities are one of the most underemployed segments of the workforce,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, a regional attorney with the EEOC. “Many disabled persons are qualified, ready and willing to work. All they need is an equal opportunity. Job coaches are one form of reasonable accommodation that allows employees with intellectual disabilities to be able to work.”

The suit seeks back pay and compensatory damages for Bonn.

“The reported incident involved one of our franchisees. We are in the process of gathering all the facts and will then take the appropriate action,” Papa John’s said in a statement to Disability Scoop.

(Updated: September 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM CT)