Tags: blind | barber | wrongful | termination

Blind Barber's Wrongful Termination Costs Tony $100K

Image: Blind Barber's Wrongful Termination Costs Tony $100K
Joel Nixon, the blind barber.  (Twitter@wiskey1249)

By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 12:59 PM

A legally blind barber in Massachusetts was awarded $100,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit made public on Friday.

"I have a following. My clients call me the 'Blind Barber,'" Joel Nixon, the blind barber., 29, told The Boston Herald after his victory in court.

"When it comes to hairstyling, I’m an artist and I take pride in what I do. When you’re in my chair, I don’t let you out of my chair until they’re satisfied. My vision does not compromise my ability to do my job."

Nixon is not completely blind, but suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary condition affecting his peripheral and night vision. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind classifies him as legally blind.

After working for year at Tony's Barber Shop in Norton, his boss, Tony Morales, discovered his condition.

On March 3, 2012, Nixon tripped over a customer's legs, and tripped over a waiting room chair.

At that point, "Morales told him to pack up his things and get his wife to take him home. [Nixon] understood that his employment was being terminated," said the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

After being fired, Nixon was unemployed for three years, his wife had a high-risk pregnancy, and his condo went into foreclosure. He applied for food stamps, and relied on charity for Christmas gifts.

"I could wake up someday and be completely blind, but my goal is to have a nice home with a nice backyard for my son. I’ve never been to Disneyland, and I want to take him. I want to take him before I lose my vision. I’m trying to do the best I can," said Nixon.

Morales said that Nixon was an independent contractor, didn't carry his weight at the shop, and wasn’t a licensed barber.

"It’s a bunch of lies. It’s sad that people like Joel try to take advantage of their situation and create false accusations. All of this is false accusations," he said. Morales said he plans to appeal the decision.

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A legally blind barber in Massachusetts was awarded $100,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit made public on Friday.
blind, barber, wrongful, termination
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2015-59-09
Monday, 09 Nov 2015 12:59 PM
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