Published January, 2008
EEOC v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 531 F. Supp. 2d 930 (M.D. Tenn. 2008)
Relying largely on the D.C. Circuit’s reasoning in Doe v. United States Postal Service, 317 F.3d 339 (D.C. Cir. 2003), the Court found that an employer violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it compels an employee to disclose his HIV status in order to obtain medical leave, and a supervisor then discloses his HIV status to co-workers. The employee sought a workplace accommodation in the form of a modified work schedule in order to participate in a clinical trial for HIV treatment. A supervisor then informed him that he needed to request medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which required proof of medical necessity. The employee disclosed his HIV status to his supervisor, who was ordered by a superior not to disclose the information. The supervisor ultimately did disclose the information to the employee’s co-workers, leading to emotional distress for the employee. The Court found that the information in this case was protected because (1) the information was revealed in response to an inquiry by the employer, (2) the inquiry was work related, and (3) the employee suffered a tangible injury.
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