HIV+ man sprayed with Lysol, harassed at Detroit dental centerBottom Highlights, Online Only Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
James White, a 26-year-old male diagnosed as HIV positive, says he was the victim of harassment at his place of employment, Great Expressions Dental Center in Detroit, Michigan. White says he was sprayed with Lysol and subjected to frequent episodes of abuse, including subjection to harassment, which lead to his eventual firing.
Thousands of people have gathered in support of White by signing a campaign petition at Change.org which calls upon Great Expressions Dental Center to apologize and provide reparations to White.
“It’s absolutely tragic and shocking that thirty years after HIV was first discovered, we’re still seeing vile acts of discrimination toward those who are HIV-positive,” said Harris. “Nobody should have to experience the type of discrimination and harassment that James White suffered. This is too atrocious a crime not to evoke public outrage.”
Lawyers for James White have called his case the worst case of alleged HIV-related job discrimination they have ever handled. According to White, who was an office assistant at Great Expressions Dental Center, his superiors leaked news of his HIV-positive status to fellow coworkers, several of whom began spraying White with Lysol, prohibiting him from touching doorknobs, and wiping down office furniture and equipment after he used it. Finally, during a stint in the hospital to seek care for his HIV, Great Expressions allegedly called White and told him not to return to work.
The Detroit-based Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determined there was “reasonable cause” for discrimination against White due to his HIV-status and the commission ruled in his favor earlier this year. Great Expressions Dental Center has not formally responded to the EEOC ruling.
To sign the petition in support of White, follow the link to Change.org.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=19223