EEOC sues healthcare company for refusing to hire HIV positive man

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A medical staffing firm refused to hire a Pittsburgh area man as a "sitter," tending to Veterans Administration patients in their homes, because the man was HIV positive, according to a lawsuit filed today by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC sued Maxim Healthcare Services Inc., based in Maryland and active in Pittsburgh, on behalf of the man, referred to only as John Doe in the complaint.

The man was qualified to be a sitter, and applied to Maxim in January 2012, according to the complaint. His doctor filled out a Health Status Statement Form indicating that he was HIV positive "but that there was 'no contraindication to working,'" according to the complaint in U.S. District Court.

In May 2012 Maxim told the man "that he could not be hired and assigned to the VA facility because he was HIV positive," according to the lawsuit.

The EEOC maintains that the decision violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, and seeks a court order preventing Maxim from engaging in hiring discrimination against those who are HIV positive. The EEOC also seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the man.

A Maxim spokesperson could not be immediately reached.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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