Arizona School District Employee Files Complaint Claiming Wrongful Termination Due to HIV Status
A Scottsdale, Ariz., Unified School District employee has filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office claiming that his job is being eliminated because he is HIV-positive, the Arizona Republic reports. The employee, who wishes to remain anonymous over concerns that he will not be able to find another job if he is identified as HIV-positive, has also filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The employee, who works for the district's technology department, received a letter on April 10 notifying him that his position was being eliminated on June 30 due to budget cuts, the Republic reports. The employee claims that he was removed from his position and given "other duties" in October 2002, shortly after informing a district official of his HIV status. The employee also said that he was asked to work in the rain and in an environment where asbestos is present. In addition, the employee claims that other staff members were told of his medical condition, the Republic reports. Mary Ellen Simonson, an attorney representing the school district, said that the employee's claims are being investigated, adding, "He is not being laid off because of his physical disability." She also said that district officials have "tried hard to deal with the employee's concerns" since he began working with the district three years ago, according to the Republic (Ryman, Arizona Republic, 5/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.