INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WEHT) – A consent degree was filed by the Justice Department on Thursday to settle the lawsuit against the Town of Clarksville, Indiana for violating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“No individual should be subject to employment discrimination based on their HIV status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The complainant’s dream job was taken away because of unfounded assumptions that his HIV diagnosis would impact his ability to safely do the job. This settlement reflects the Justice Department’s firm commitment to enforcing the rights of job applicants and employees who experience unlawful discrimination based on disability.”
Reports say the lawsuit alleged the towns police department had revoked a job offer unlawfully to a qualified police officer due to his HIV diagnosis. Title I prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals due to their disability.
The officer had been working as a volunteer reserve officer for the police department in Clarksville for over a year and was fully qualified to be a police officer. According to the ADA, discrimination includes withdrawing a job offer based on unsupported and stereotypical views of the qualified individual’s disability.
“Workers living with HIV, including those in law enforcement, deserve to be free from unlawful discrimination,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “This settlement will ensure that qualified individuals who seek to serve their communities won’t be excluded as a result of unfounded stereotypes and misinformation about HIV. This office will continue to work closely with our partners in the Civil Rights Division to protect the civil rights of employees and continue the fight to uphold the hard-fought protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
The consent degree terms would require Clarksville to revise its policies and procedures in regards to employment-related medical exams and train relevant personnel how to meet the requirements of Title I of the ADA.
Additionally the town would pay $150,00 in compensatory damages to the complainant along with an affidavit to assure future employers his termination was not his fault. The consent degree was filed by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary Myers.
The complaint can be viewed here.