HIV-Positive Man Files Discrimination Suit Against American Airlines
A New York man is suing American Airlines for discrimination, claiming that the airline did not hire him because he has HIV, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reports. The plaintiff, Edward Poulin, has accused the airline of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because the company made him a conditional offer of employment as a flight attendant, but withdrew that offer two months later after it learned he is HIV-positive. American Airlines said that Poulin "lied" on his employment application. William Kaiser, Poulin's attorney, said, "[American] was asking whether he took any medications. He denied it because he didn't. When they ultimately found out that he was HIV-positive, they pulled the rug out from under him. That's a clear violation of federal civil rights laws." American Airlines spokesperson Gus Whitcomb, however, said that Poulin's "allegations contradict employment policy at the airline, as well as its well-documented leadership and sensitivity concerning HIV/AIDS." Whitcomb added that airline hiring policies "do not disqualify" HIV-positive individuals, noting that the airline currently employs several HIV-positive flight attendants. He added that the company does reject job applicants "who do not disclose their medical history on employment applications." Whitcomb declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit (Heinzl, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 3/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.