The federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a small-town Subway in Indiana because it allegedly fired a worker who admitted to his superiors that he was HIV-positive. According to the full wrongful-termination suit, the employee — whose name is understandably being kept anonymous — told his boss (a manager named Maria Manawat), and her response betrayed some major unease. She asked, "What if you cut yourself?" and also wondered aloud, "What if our customers find out?" She then told him she needed to consult with the district manager, the lawsuit asserts. About a month later, the employee got word from Manawat to the effect that he "might be a liability to the company, and that they were going to have to let him go."
As the EEOC points out, that's against the law. To quote the agency's attorney who filed the suit: "You can't terminate someone just because you find out that they're HIV positive." The employee is asking for back pay and other damages. The EEOC argues he got fired "simply because of ignorance and fear." And, to that end, the EEOC hopes that a suit like this makes people understand that, saying in a statement: "One of the reasons we litigate a case like this is so people recognize that it is against the law."
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