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Unfair Dismissal Suit Dismissed on Performance

A personal trainer’s personal choice played no part in his employer’s decision to dismiss him from a management training program at a Chicagoland exercise chain. This according to a judge in US District Court, who ruled that the operators of the Equinox Fitness Club were within their right to act based on Rick Onstott’s job performance. Onstott claimed he was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after he disclosed to the program’s supervisor that he’d been diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS, who then subjected him to serial abuse.

Onstott learned he was HIV-positive in 2017, some three months after he’d taken up a position at Equinox’s facility in the skyscraper at 900 North Michigan Ave. He claimed his firing three months later came at the hands of Prima Pongspikul, whose performance reviews the company used to justify his dismissal three months later. However,  US District Judge Mary M. Rowland said that Onstott failed to prove that Pongspikul treated him unfairly, describing the basis of the claim as “circumstantial evidence in the form of suspicious timing and pretext” and noting that the gap between his revelation and his dismissal was too great to lead a reasonable trier of fact to believe the events were linked. 

The Chicagoland Law Firm represents clients in cases of unfair dismissal and in all phases of employment law. We also help companies set up the employment contracts that ensure the rights and responsibilities of both labor and management are comprehensive and clearly stated. Contact us today to discuss the facts in your employment matter free of charge with our Employment Lawyer. We represent clients in DuPage County, Greater Chicago and in courts across the state of Illinois.

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