Court: Houston Nightclub Must Pay $139K to Employee Fired Based on HIV-Positive Rumor

A Houston nightclub/party site has rid itself of an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a fired employee who was rumored to be HIV-positive.

The suit filed against Diallo’s of Houston last October accused the establishment, Diallo’s of Houston of violating the ADA 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.

The EEOC said that the 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.

The EEOC announced today that that a default judgment was entered against Diallo’s in court ordering it to pay $139,366 to the victim of this discrimination, Felicia Parks.

“It is a violation of federal law to make a disability-related inquiry unrelated to the employee’s job requirements or to any legitimate business necessity,” explained EEOC’s regional attorney in Houston, Rudy Sustaita. “EEOC will keep fighting such invasive and unfair probing by employers.”

As I stated when I first wrote up this case:

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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