Monday, August 31, 2009

New HIV Policy at State

I finally made it back from vacation...not willingly, but I am back. This came into my in box while I was away and I wanted to share it with you.

State Dept. Settles, Changes HIV Policies
By Michelle Garcia

A U.S. Army veteran settled out of court with a federal contractor
after it denied him a job because he is HIV-positive.

The U.S. State Department, which contracts with the company that
denied employment to the man -- whose name was withheld -- has agreed
to policy changes that will prevent people with HIV from being
automatically barred from working under department contracts in the
future, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU filed the case in September 2008 against the State Department
and one of its contractors, Triple Canopy Inc. The suit claimed that
John Doe, as he is identified in court documents, was illegally fired,
violating the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities

A day before he finished training for a job providing security for the
Haitian embassy, Doe was told by a director for Triple Canopy that he
could not be employed because the State Department would not allow
workers with HIV to be deployed overseas. The department also mandated
that all contractor personnel be free from communicable diseases.

Doe is a 20-year veteran of the military who was diagnosed with HIV in
2000. He retired in 2001, and did contract work with the U.S. Defense
Department from 2004 to 2005, where he led security teams on military
bases. According to the ACLU, both the Army and the Defense Department
were aware of his HIV status and he was still able to serve as a
contractor in Iraq.

"I'm relieved that I can finally put this experience behind me and
move on with my life," the veteran said in a statement. "I feel a lot
better knowing that this kind of discrimination shouldn't happen

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