The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), protects qualified individuals with a disability. What is and is not a disability has been the subject of much discussion since the recent passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The status of HIV as a recognized disability under the ADA, though, is not likely to be impacted–it has long been settled that a person with HIV/AIDS is protected by the statute. In fact, we were reminded of this in July when we reported that the EEOC had filed suit against a weight-loss clinic in Pennsylvania, alleging that the clinic had wrongfully terminated an employee for having AIDS.
The EEOC has filed another AIDS-based lawsuit under the ADA. This time, the suit is against the Chesapeake Academy, a private school in Anne Arundel, Maryland. In its suit, the EEOC alleges that the second-grade teacher, Chauncey Stevenson, was terminated when he told the school he was infected with the disease. The Baltimore Sun reports that Stevenson had been given good performance reviews for the years of his employment but his contract was not renewed for the 2006-2007 school year. Stevenson then filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. When settlement negotiations with the school failed, the Commission filed suit on Stevenson’s behalf.