Gay, HIV Positive Man Sues McDonald's After Firing, Claims Violence and Death Threats

2009_09_08_mcdonaldsAt the same time the Centers for Disease Controls reports a dramatic increase in the number of HIV cases, many HIV advocates and state human rights agencies report more discrimination against the HIVpositive. A former McDonald's employee in Iowa filed a complaintwith the Iowa Civil Rights Commission claiming he was unlawfully fired because he is a HIV positive gay man.

Forty-six-year-old Daniel Carveralleges the harassment at the Dyersville McDonald's began as a lack of promotions and fewer hours escalated to derogatory names, violence and death threats. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald's report describes a vicious work environment.

[Carver] claims it started with a failed promise to be promoted to manager and a full-time schedule slashed to 10 to 15 hours per week. A manager punched him in the stomach and a fellow employee called him a "faggot rat" and slapped him with a piece of cheese, Carver wrote. Then, the discrimination escalated into death threats from fellow employees, he said.

"In November 2007, I was threatened by other employees because of my HIV status and my sexual orientation that I, 'better watch my back or I might get shot,' " Carver wrote.

He reported the comments to a manager, but the problem continued, he said. A toll-free number for employees to report sexual harassment had been removed from the store, he said.

Carver was fired in February 2008 after nearly four months at the Dryersville restaurant. State and federal law prohibits discrimination against an employee with a disability, which includes HIV status. Iowa law also bans discriminaion against employees because of perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Carver is suing McDonald's Corp., the Dyersville McDonald's restaurant and its ownerts Glenn and Lois Karpinske of Galena, Illinois.

Approximately 2,000 Iowans suffer from HIV, according to estimates by the Iowa Department of Public Health. TheTelegraph Herald reports another local HIV positive man has claimed discrimination in the workplace because of the disease. Fifty-two-year-old Earl Alexander of Dubuque has fought the virus for 22 years and the stigma that it carries. He says he has been illegally fired twice from restaurant jobs and sued both companies, receiving settlements in both cases.

HIV Poz Man Sues McDonald's Sues McDonald's [KCRG]
HIV Infected Man Sues Dyersville McDonald's [TH]

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