Cook County Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ex-employee sues Peninsula Hotel, alleging disability discrimination

By Robbie Hargett | Sep 30, 2015


A carpenter is suing his former employer, alleging unlawful discrimination and retaliatory discharge.

Lawrence Deacon filed a complaint Sept. 25 in Cook County Circuit Court against HSH Chicago Inc., doing business as a The Peninsula Hotel, Peninsula Chicago, doing business as The Peninsula Hotel, and Peninsula Chicago Hotel Management Inc., doing business as b/a The Peninsula Hotel, alleging retaliatory discharge and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint, Deacon worked as a full-time carpenter at The Peninsula Hotel, a luxury hotel at 108 E. Superior St. Chicago, from April 18, 2002 to September 27, 2013. On Dec. 18, 2012, the suit states, Deacon suffered a meniscus tear in his knee while moving heavy furniture for the defendants. Shortly after receiving surgery for his injury, Deacon returned to work but required accommodations of light duty, lifting restrictions, and no bending, twisting or squatting, which the defendants initially allowed him, the lawsuit states.

The defendants then instructed Deacon to perform work outside the scope of a carpenter, including painting, for which he had to work in closets and on stairwells and ladders, going against his restrictions, the suit says. He also was prohibited from carrying his diabetic medical supplies that he required to check his blood sugar levels, the lawsuit states.

On Sept. 23, 2013, while working on a paint job, the suit states, he ran low on paint, so he sought his supervisor's advice, entering a guest's room where his supervisor was working. The next day at work, the complaint says, he was met by security personnel and a member of human resources, and was suspended for being in an unauthorized work area the day before.

The plaintiff was discharged Sept. 27, 2013. The complaint alleges the defendants' actions constitute unlawful discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Deacon seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.

He is represented by attorney David C. McCracken of the Law Offices of Stephen G. Pinto in Chicago.

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Law Offices of Stephen G. Pinto Ltd