Home / Lifestyle / Blind barber wins $100G for wrongful termination in Mass.

Blind barber wins $100G for wrongful termination in Mass.

s=7.DoneStuart Cahill/Boston Herald

Joel Nixon, a barber since 2008, was awarded $ 100,000 after being wrongly fired for his condition.

A Massachusetts barber was awarded $ 100,000 after a commission found he was wrongly fired for being blind.

Joel Nixon, 29, had earned a reputation as “The Blind Barber” after being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which affects his peripheral and night vision. The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind declared him legally blind, and there’s a possibility he’ll lose his sight forever.

He lost his job at Tony’s Barber Shop in 2012, after his boss Tony Morales noticed Nixon’s condition. He had tripped over a customer’s legs, and later tripped over a chair, the Boston Herald reported.

“Morales told him to pack up his things and get his wife to take him home,” the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination hearing officer wrote.

After being cut off, the “blind barber” struggled to find another job, and was unemployed for three years. His condo closed and he was forced to apply for food stamps and go to charities for Christmas presents, he said.

The commission awarded him $ 75,000 for lost wages and $ 25,000 for emotional distress from the firing. Nixon said he hopes to bring his son to Disneyland before he loses his vision completely.

Morales said Nixon wasn’t fired because he was legally blind, but because he wasn’t qualified. He said Nixon wasn’t carrying his weight and was an unlicensed barber.

“It’s sad that people like Joel try to take advantage of their situation and create false accusations,” Morales said.

Nixon said he is still cutting hair, but for private clients who request him.

ang@nydailynews.com

Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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