HIV-Positive Man Gets Hearing on Failed Bid to Join Atlanta Police Force
Posted Feb 2, 2012 12:09 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a man with HIV is entitled to a hearing on whether he can legally be denied a job as an Atlanta police officer because of his medical condition.
A federal court had previously dismissed his suit seeking a hearing.
A three-judge panel said attorneys for a 40-year-old man using the pseudonym Richard Roe should have the opportunity to address Atlanta's position that Roe can't serve as a police officer because he is HIV positive, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Without expressing an opinion on the outcome of the case, the judges also noted (PDF) that the lawyers should be able to argue that HIV hasn't been enough in the past to disqualify police candidates.
"This is a great victory for Lambda Legal's client who will now get his chance in court to show how the APD's refusal to hire him was discriminatory and illegal," Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal's HIV Project Director, told the AJC. "Before the appellate court, the City of Atlanta admitted that there are already HIV-positive police officers serving on the force; now they need to explain why our client should be treated any differently."
The city didn't comment for the AJC story.
Hat Tip: How Appealing