As we have blogged on many occasions, discrimination against an employee based upon a disability whether in the hiring process or during performance of the job, is generally illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Apparently the Federal Transportation Services Administration was so busy perfecting their pat down searches that they forgot these laws apply to them.
Air force veteran Michael Lamarre applied for a transportation security officer position with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2008. As part of the interview process for the position, Lamarre had to undergo a medical screening. It was during this screening that he disclosed his HIV status.
Despite receiving a letter from his physician that stated Lamarre “is capable of meeting the [TSO] job requirements safely, efficiently and effectively with respect to [her] medical specialty and this candidate’s medical condition and/or diagnosis,” the TSA notified Lamarre in 2009 his HIV status resulted in medical disqualification. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lamarre fought the decision, claiming discrimination.
In September 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law that protects the rights of the disabled, was amended to explicitly cover HIV-positive individuals.
If an employee’s HIV symptoms or medications are interfering with the job requirements, the ADA allows for the employee to request what is known as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable change in the work environment or the way a job is performed that allows the disabled person to fill the position.
There are also statutes in many states that prohibit discrimination based upon being HIV positive.
If you believe you have been discriminated against based upon HIV or some other disability, feel free to speak with Scott Behren or the Behren Law Firm for a free consultation.