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Restaurant employee alleges he was terminated for not shaving beard


By Noddy A. Fernandez | Oct 9, 2018

ORLANDO — An Orange County man is suing an Orlando restaurant, alleging denial of reasonable accommodation.

Idasnel Ortiz filed a complaint Sept. 27 in Orange County Circuit Court against Patina Orlando LLC, doing business as Morimoto Asia, alleging the restaurant violated the 1992 Florida Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 24, 2017, Ortiz, who suffers from psoriasis, requested accommodation to be allowed to wear a neatly trimmed beard as his condition prevents him from closely shaving his beard, However, the suit says, in September 2017, Ortiz's request was denied and Morimoto Asia refused to allow him to work unless he completely shaved his beard. Thus, he was constructively terminated based on his disability. 

The plaintiff alleges Morimoto Asia refused to engage in an interactive discussion regarding Ortiz's request for accommodation and eventually denied his request even though the request would not have imposed any undue hardship.

Ortiz seeks trial by jury and seeks, compensatory and punitive damages of more than $15,000, prejudgment interest, court costs, attorney fees, and all other just and equitable relief. He is represented by attorney Christopher J. Saba of Wenzel Fenton Cabassa PA in Tampa.

Orange County Circuit Court case number 18CA010555

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9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Wenzel Fenton Cabassa PA

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