June 10, 2017
Francine Arthur, African-American mother of two, claims in an October 2016 lawsuit that she was harassed since April 2012 and wrongfully terminated by the Disney Corporation in California. Prior to her termination, she received multiple promotions since she began working as a night shift custodian in 2008. She moved up to Ghirardelli, then Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop and finally to a hostess position at the Napa Rose restaurant, all within the entertainment mogul.
Arthur struggles with a mental disability and asked to discuss accommodations for the new position. At first, the relationship between Arthur, peer employees and management worked well. However, relationships turned sour as management called her “slow” in front of co-workers, who began to taunt and gang up on her. She endured racial slurs, heard rumors of planned termination and was warned to watch her back.
She claims the termination plans included a plot to frame her of theft, including a customer’s lost cell phone and a restaurant candle. Poor performance reviews concluded the second stage of the termination plot hatched between a hostess and manager. She reported the theft frame to Human Resources without result.
Arthur claims she suffered a back injury after she helped lift an overweight patron from her chair in August 2012. Months later, her condition worsened, but she worked through her pain to avoid having her hours cut. She endured both physical challenges and insults through the summer of 2013. As her back condition worsened, a Disney worker’s compensation doctor gave her a year off for treatment, including epidural shots in her spine.
Arthur returned with a walker, but management allegedly disliked utilizing a hostess in her condition and groomed a young man to replace her. She was terminated in May 2015.
Arthur seeks more than $25,000 in damages for lost income, emotional distress and physical pain. A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2017 in the courtroom of OC Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Bauer. She is represented by Shegarian and Associates.
John Rosnebaum is a compassionate Orange County Worker’s Compensation attorney that has decades of experience fighting on behalf of the public. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly due to a disability even after you requested work accommodations, contact our legal team.