Missouri Grocery Store Settles HIV Discrimination Suit
A Westport, Mo., grocery store has agreed to settle an HIV discrimination lawsuit filed by a former deli worker and pay $80,000 in back wages and damages, the Kansas City Star reports. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission announced the Marsh's Sun Fresh settlement on Wednesday, saying that the store wrongfully terminated Timothy Williams because he was HIV-positive. The store did not admit any violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other law, but agreed to educate its managers about the act's employment protections and which diseases are transmitted through food handling. Williams said that store managers asked about his HIV status and revealed his medical condition to others before firing him in 1998. Williams' attorney Michael Ketchmark said, "The size of this settlement should be a warning to corporate America that you shouldn't discriminate against somebody because of HIV status." In the settlement, Marsh's Sun Fresh grocery said that it would not discriminate against workers on the basis of any disability, that it would not ask workers about their HIV status and that it would keep employees' medical information confidential (Stafford, Kansas City Star, 4/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.