Recently, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Atlanta district
court made three crucial errors when it rejected an HIV-positive claim
of disability discrimination against the Atlanta police department.
Roe v. Atlanta, Richard Roe sued the city for violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) after he was rejected as a police officer candidate. The ADA
disability discrimination in several ways, including banning discrimination against qualified individuals
with a disability in the terms and conditions of employment such as hiring,
firing and promoting.
Here the Appellate Court found that Roe could maintain his claim against
the city for several reasons. First, the 11th Circuit court found that
the lower court too quickly assumed that Roe would not be able to refute
the city’s claim that he wasn’t hired because he would pose
a direct threat to others. Discovery responses provided in the case showed
that the department didn’t consider HIV to be a “medically
disqualifying condition” and that the city didn’t have a policy
against hiring people who tested HIV-positive. As a result, Roe was lulled
into believing that he didn’t have to show his condition wasn’t
serious. Additionally, the court didn’t look into whether the city
violated the ADA by having Roe submit to a medical examination before
extended him a conditional job offer. Because of these errors, the appellate
court determined that Roe could move forward with his claim of discrimination
against the police department.
This case is important because it shows that in some cases an employer’s
own policy handbook or lack of a policy can support claims of discrimination.
If you believe you may have been discriminated against by your employer
– or your potential employer – it is important to discuss
just what happened and the circumstances surrounding the potential discrimination
with a top Georgia discrimination lawyer. An experienced Georgia employment
discrimination attorney can evaluate all of the issues in your situation
and help you determine your next steps.
For more information concerning disability discrimination or any other
form of employment discrimination, contact the dedicatedAtlanta employee’s rights attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.