This is an United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit decision affirming the federal district court's decision to grant summary judgment to the employer in a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of an HIV-positive employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The district court granted summary judgment to the employer on the ground that the plaintiff, Mr. Lowe, failed to file his complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the adverse employment action, as required by the EEOC. The EEOC also argued that Mr. Lowe's July 2007 intake questionnaire and handwritten note constituted a sufficient charge of discrimination and should be used to determine compliance with its 180-day limitation period. The court disagreed, relying on a United States Supreme Court decision that sets forth what constitutes sufficient notice of a claim. Fed. Exp. Corp. v. Holowecki, 552 U.S. 389, 128 S. Ct. 1147, 170 L. Ed. 2d 10 (2008).
While this case focuses primarily on a procedural issue, it provides guidance for employees alleging employment discrimination on the basis of their HIV, namely that the timeliness and formality of requests to the EEOC to take formal action are crucial.