December 21, 2011
This entry has been cross-posted from Brandon's Blogspot blog, My Feet Only Walk Forward, which is home to Brandon's general musings on life, the world and other matters.
Today I received word from Mr. James White that Great Expressions Dental has filed a defamation suit in federal court and a counterclaim saying that the EEOC finding of discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was erroneous in his employment discrimination case in Detroit where Great Expressions followed him around and sprayed down surfaces with Lysol after he disclosed his HIV status.
Shortly after receiving a personal email from Mr. White, I received, at my work address of all places, an email from Great Expressions Dental. There is one of those funny little disclaimers at the end of the email suggesting that the email I received is not necessarily public information.
I am the media and therefore I am reprinting this memo here, I love freedom of the press:
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Layne at 248-855-6777, or 248-320-6202.
December 21, 2011
A Statement from Todd Gustke
Vice President of Human Resources
Great Expressions Dental Centers
Great Expressions takes pride in being an equal opportunity employer -- not just in adherence to the law, but because we believe it makes us a better company. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Great Expressions Dental Centers are based on merit, qualifications and abilities.
Recently, numerous public and false allegations have been made in an online campaign seeking to paint Great Expressions Dental Centers in a negative light. This malicious campaign has resulted in emails and harassing telephone calls to our employees and shareholders. We immediately petitioned the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, seeking a declaration in the proper forum that we did not discriminate or otherwise violate the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. We are confident that the Court will find these accusations to be without merit.
It is our corporate policy to not comment on employees and former employees in the media or online, especially on issues related to employees' health status.
Great Expressions Dental Centers employs over 1900 people in 7 states. Our team reflects the community we serve, including individuals from the GLBTQ community.
This was my response:
Dear Ms. Cherry:
Thank you for your note. Unfortunately, I have reviewed the EEOC finding, and I support the work of the EEOC. Great Expressions Dental violated the ADA of 1990, and I am confident that Great Expressions will be made to pay substantive damages to Mr. White.
And the question at hand is not alleged discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Great Expressions Dental was found in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for discrimination based on HIV status.
Your letter is misleading, contains misinformation and is very much unappreciated. Thank you!
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to call Michael Layne at the numbers provided above. I am sure that Great Expressions would love to hear from any and all of you that believe that discrimination against people living with HIV is reprehensible.