Maverik Ordered to Pay for Firing HIV Positive Employee

November 7, 2011 ( – Maverik Country Stores will pay approximately $115,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC).
The lawsuit, filed on September 30, 2010 in federal court in Cheyenne, Wyoming, charged Maverik with violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by allegedly failing to accommodate and then firing an HIV-positive bakery clerk.

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