Concession Manager Fired for HIV Condition, Federal Agency Charges
BALTIMORE – Innershore Enterprises, Inc. doing business as Marlow 6 Theatre, violated federal law when it fired a concession manager because of her disability, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
In its suit (Civil Action No. 8:09-cv-02481-DKC) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, the agency charged that the Temple Hills, Md., theater fired an employee from her position as concession manager because of her HIV. When the company became aware that the employee was HIV-positive, she was reassigned to a less desirable position of “greeter” and placed on a different work shift. The company’s owner and president, Kiran Khorana, reportedly said, “I can do what I want.”
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a qualified individual because of an actual disability or because he or she had a record of disability or was regarded as disabled. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC’s suit seeks monetary and injunctive relief including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages as well as employment policies to eliminate future discrimination because of disability.
“Employers must make employment decisions based on the employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job, not because of prejudices,” said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence.
In fiscal year 2008, disability-based charges rose to a record 19, 543, up 10.2 percent from the prior year and the highest level since 1995.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.