Scottsdale, Ariz., School District Settles Discrimination Lawsuit With HIV-Positive Worker
The Scottsdale, Ariz., Unified School District on Tuesday night reached a settlement with a former employee who in May filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office claiming that his job was being eliminated because of his HIV-positive status, the Associated Press reports (Associated Press, 8/21). 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, also filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The employee, who previously worked 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 man 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. Mary Ellen Simonson, an attorney representing the school district, said that the employee was "not being laid off because of his physical disability" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/21). In the settlement, the school district does not admit to any wrongdoing but has agreed to pay the employee $37,500 on the condition that he will drop the EEOC and Attorney General's Office complaints, the Associated Press reports. The settlement also prevents the employee from pursuing further legal action (Associated Press, 8/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.