Federal Judge Rejects HIV Discrimination Case

July 3,2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal judge threw out a lawsuit of a woman who claimed a Wisconsin restaurant did not hire her because she was HIV positive.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb said that Korrin Krause Stewart, 21, did not prove a key requirement in a disability suit, which requires that a disability limit major life activity, the Wausau Daily Herald reported. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) says that impaired is not the same as disabled, unless Stewart can show being HIV positive limits her ability to eat, breathe, reproduce or perform other major life activity.

Crabb wrote that no reasonable jury would have found Stewart who was born with the virus to be disabled under the ADA definition, the newspaper reported.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC) took on the suit against the restaurant in 2005 and charged that it ignored a job application for 19-year-old Stewart then Korrin Krause (See Second Discrimination Suit For HIV Positive Teen ). After not hearing back from the restaurant about the status of her application for some time, Stewart claimed she returned to the Log Cabin Restaurant to update her resume, only to find the words “HIV positive” written on her application.

According to the Herald, this is the second such lawsuit for Stewart. In 2002, she received a $90,000 settlement in a lawsuit against a grocery store, Quality Foods IGA.  After working one day at the grocery store, Krause, then 16, was fired after a manager called her family to verify her HIV-positive status.