Pa.: Staffing Agency that Refused to Hire HIV-Positive Applicant Sued by EEOC

By Rosemarie Lally Dec 16, 2014

A healthcare staffing service that refused to hire an HIV-positive applicant for a position that involved sitting with patients at a U.S Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility will pay $75,000 and offer equitable relief under a consent decree with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Maxim Healthcare Services Inc. made a conditional offer to the job candidate contingent on completion of a health status certification. Maxim later refused to hire him after receiving his medical evaluation, which noted his HIV-positive status but also stated that he was medically cleared to work, the EEOC alleged. The EEOC did not allege any participation by the VA in Maxim's decision to refuse to assign the candidate because of his HIV-positive status.

After trying unsuccessfully to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through a conciliation process, the EEOC filed suit in federal district court in Pennsylvania alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition to the $75,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides that:

*Maxim is permanently enjoined from engaging in disability discrimination or retaliation.

*Maxim will create, enforce and disseminate a policy prohibiting disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and implement a complaint procedure designed to encourage employees to come forward with complaints regarding violations of its policy against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

*Maxim will provide training on the ADA and revise its "Health Status Statement Form" to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of medical information.

*Maxim will report to the EEOC regarding its compliance with the consent decree and post a notice about the settlement.

EEOC v. Maxim Healthcare Services Inc., d/b/a Maxim Staffing Solutions, W.D. Pa., Civil Action No. 2:14-cv-00338-MRH (Dec. 4, 2014).

Rosemarie Lally, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.

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