CO-WORKERS SPRAY HIV-POSITIVE MAN WITH LYSOL
(THINK PROGRESS) Almost 35,000 people are supporting a Change.org petition calling on the Great Expressions Dental Center in Michigan to apologize for how it treated HIV-positive employee James White. When White’s supervisors learned of his status, they informed fellow coworkers, who proceeded to spray him with Lysol, prohibit him from touching doorknobs, and wipe down furniture and equipment after he used it. When White spent some time in the hospital, the Dental Center told him not to return to work. A study released this past July found that public understanding of HIV has not improved in 20 years.
Great Expressions has filed a complaint against White, arguing that they are guilty of no wrong-doing and blaming his termination on persistent tardiness:
Because of Defendant’s excessive absences and tardiness, which far exceeded Plaintiff’s attendance policy, and after giving Defendant many opportunities to improve (including a July 13 written warning of possible termination if absences continued), Plaintiff terminated his employment on July 27. Plaintiff’s decision was not based on Defendant’s disability or because of the reasons for his absences and tardiness.
The complaint petitions the United States District Court to declare that the office did not discriminate or violate the Americans with Disabilities Act