According to public filings in the lawsuit, Maverik learned of the employee’s HIV status when it was disclosed in a workers’ compensation proceeding. The employee, who had worked for the company over three years, was fired two weeks later because of an alleged fear he should not be working with food. The EEOC also said Maverik failed to make reasonable accommodations for the employee.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit prohibits Maverik from further discriminating based on disability and requires the company to review its written ADA non-discrimination policy. The decree also requires Maverik to provide ADA training to its Wyoming work force and to higher-level supervisors and managers company-wide. Maverik is required to post an ADA notice in each of its Wyoming locations and to make periodic reports to the EEOC.
“The ADA prohibits employers from terminating employees because of irrational fears about disabilities,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District, which includes Wyoming. “HIV/AIDS has been recognized as a disability under the ADA, and there is nothing about having HIV which should preclude an individual from working with food.”
The case is EEOC v. Maverik, Inc., d/b/a Maverik Country Stores.