Couture v. Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center, 151 Fed. Appx. 685 (10th Cir. 2005)

Court and Agency Decisions and Orders (including case law)

This case concerns an HIV-positive man whose employer prohibited him from continuing in his position as a phlebotomist due to his HIV status. His employer offered him another job opportunity with equal pay but different responsibilities. Couture brought a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). In this opinion, the Tenth Circuit affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the grounds that the reassignment was not an adverse employment action under the ADA and CADA.

It is important to note that this opinion is not binding as precedent because it is an order and judgment, rather than a published opinion. It is useful, however, to read  the amici briefs that were filed in the case and also are available in the Resource Bank. These briefs expand on the legal arguments on issues raised in this case such as: (1) HIV as a disability under the ADA; (2) what constitutes an adverse employment action; (3) the lack of “significant risk” under the ADA posed by most HIV-positive health care workers; and (4) the stigma associated with HIV.

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