New York police department discriminates HIV+ man

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: A police car is parked at a crime scene where three people were shot on June 10, 2015 in the Gowanus area of the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called "Summer All Out." About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The New York Police Department is facing legal action from the US Department of Justice for discriminating a person with HIV-positive status. Raymond Parker had applied for a desk job as an NYPD communications technician in 2013, and he had received an employment offer. However, after undergoing medical checks, the other was withdrawn – with a disqualification notice citing “HIV low CD4 count”. In other words, he was rejected because of having HIV, although there is no ruling in the police department statute which would forbid HIV+ people to work.

After the police department refused to make amends, Mr Parker filed a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – which in turn referred the case to the Department of Justice after determining “reasonable cause to believe that the allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability were true.” Taking up the case, the Justice Department’s civil rights division has now filed a lawsuit against the NYPD accusing them in disobeying the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Justice Department is urging the court to block the NYPD “from engaging in any act or practice that discriminates against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of disability” and demands “compensatory damages and injunctive relief to Parker as would fully compensate him [for] the NYPD’s discriminatory conduct”.


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