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DOJ sues Indiana town for allegedly revoking job offer after learning man’s HIV status

A logo of the Department of Justice is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 1, 2022.
Greg Nash
A logo of the Department of Justice is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 1, 2022.

The Department of Justice has sued a southern Indiana town for allegedly discriminating against an HIV-positive man, revoking a police job offer after learning of his diagnosis.

The town of Clarksville, Ind., now faces a federal discrimination lawsuit, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week.

“No qualified individual should lose a hard-earned career opportunity because of misguided views about their disability that are not supported by medicine or science,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said of the federal discrimination lawsuit against the town of Clarksville.

“This lawsuit reflects the Justice Department’s firm commitment to protecting qualified workers, including those with HIV, from unlawful employment discrimination,” she added.

Town Manager Kevin Baity said in a statement to The Hill that the town “has been aware of the complaint and has been working with the DOJ to resolve the matter.” 

“Despite the recently filed lawsuit, the Town of Clarksville will continue to work to find an amicable solution to the complaint,” he said, adding that officials would not be commenting further because of the pending litigation.

According to the DOJ, the man had been working for the police department as a volunteer reserve officer for more than a year and was “fully qualified to work as a police officer.”

He was offered a job, but the offer was revoked after his HIV status was learned, the lawsuit alleges. It’s unclear how the town became aware of his diagnosis.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified applicants on the basis of disabilities.

“Those who are qualified and seek to serve their communities should not be subjected to unlawful discrimination,” U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers of the Southern District of Indiana said. “Individuals living with HIV are entitled to the full protection of our anti-discrimination laws.”

Tags Department of Justice hiv indiana Kristen Clarke police

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