Los Angeles Times Profiles Cirque Du Soleil Gymnast Allegedly Fired Over HIV Status
The Los Angeles Times on Monday profiled Matthew Cusick, an HIV-positive gymnast who was allegedly fired from Cirque du Soleil after disclosing his HIV status (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 1/5). Cusick said that he disclosed his HIV-positive status to Cirque shortly after his July 2002 hiring and underwent several medical evaluations and was found to be in good health and considered fully able to perform with the company. However, shortly before he was to begin performing in the company's Las Vegas show "Mystere," Cirque sent him a letter terminating his employment and stating that his HIV-positive status "will likely pose a direct threat of harm to others, particularly in the case of future injury" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/19/03). The San Francisco Human Rights Commission is investigating the case, and a federal discrimination complaint filed on Cusick's behalf by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is pending with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission's Los Angeles District Office (Los Angeles Times, 1/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.