An ex-housekeeper, who has diabetes, is now suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, claiming discrimination because he is a Black Jamaican.
Stevel Smith, 52, used to work at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts at Walt Disney World. He is now coming forward and claiming Disney “unjustly fired him” after he complained about being denied access to the bathroom and his medication during his shifts.
According to a lawsuit, Smith is stating that his managers at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts “violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with the way he was treated,” Orlando Sentinel reported. The lawsuit was filed in Orlando federal court on January 11.
The lawsuit states that Smith claims a managed asked him to hide in a closet because he was not “presentable” to Guests. This is just one example of the discrimination Smith is claiming against his former employee as Orlando Sentinel reports:
The litigation cites multiple alleged examples of Smith seeking assistance for his diabetes at work that Disney denied, including keeping his medication close and being able to use restrooms other than those designated for employees.
Smith urinated on himself at work multiple times because managers told him he could not take his medicine or use the hotel’s restrooms, according to the suit. Frequent urination is a common diabetes symptom.
We want to note that federal law prohibits workplace discrimination and retaliation against people with disabilities and that reasonable accommodations must be provided for workers with disabilities. Diabetes falls under those requirements.
Orlando Sentinel‘s report continued:
Smith also asserts his managers fired him under false pretenses in March 2020 in retaliation for complaining about those issues for over two years. Smith started working at the hotels in September 2017 but had worked at Disney World since 2013, according to the lawsuit.
In records, Smith said he experienced mental and emotional distress because of his experiences. He is demanding a jury trial to seek an unspecified amount in damages.
Disney spokesman Eric Scott did not respond to Orlando Sentinel‘s questions about Smith’s time with Disney, or the lawsuit. “We will respond to the allegations in court,” Scott said in a statement to OS.
Smith currently works as a rideshare driver part-time in the Orlando area and, according to the lawsuit, “cries every time he passes Disney” because of his experiences.