AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Former Employee Settle HIV-Related Discrimination Suit
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation's largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical services, announced yesterday that it had settled a discrimination lawsuit brought by a former HIV-positive employee, the Associated Press reports. Larry Jurado, who worked as a volunteer with the Los Angeles-based agency for two years before being hired as an assistant to the human resources director, filed the suit in December 1999, claiming that he was terminated because the agency did not want to give him unpaid leave, reassign his duties or find him another suitable position within the agency after his physician placed him on disability due to HIV shortly after he joined the paid staff. Jurado said that his supervisor "attempted to pressure him into resigning," and he was fired after he refused to resign. The settlement totals $85,000 and contains "no admission of culpability" on the part of the foundation. The foundation said in a statement, "In today's litigious society, it is unfortunate that nonprofit organizations that provide charity care are forced to pay the price for frivolous litigation. But, as an organization employing 450 people and serving 10,000 patients across the United States, unfortunately there are those who take advantage of the system." The foundation added that it settled the case because legal costs would have "far exceeded" the settlement amount (Associated Press, 4/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.