Hearsay Accusation That Employee Was HIV-Positive Results in Court Date With the EEOC

A Houston area nightclub/party venue stands accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of violating federal law by demanding that an employee submit medical documentation refuting that she was HIV-positive.

According to the EEOC, the defendant relied on a hearsay statement–from an unidentified third-party that the employee was HIV-positive.

That set off a chain reaction of bad events. According to the EEOC, the owner/manager of Diallo’s “simply surmised” that the employee’s presence would be be hazardous to the company’s business. The owner/manager then demanded, on two separate occasions, that the employee provide documentation to show that she was not, in fact, HIV-positive, and informed the employee that if she could not provide such documentation, she would be terminated. The employee did not provide such documentation and was fired.

“It is starkly unfair as well as unlawful to force an employee to prove that the employee does not have an ailment because it heard the employee might have it,” said Rayford O. Irvin, district director of EEOC’s Houston District Office. “Federal law makes clear the parameters under which an employer may use medical exams, and Diallo’s clearly violated them.”

Thus Diallo’s stands accused of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act in a federal court lawsuit filed on Thursday.

If you’re not sure what parameters the ADA puts on employer-conducted medical exams, then you can read up on it on this EEOC webpage on the ADA, about two-thirds of the way down on the page.

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