Fears over HIV Cost Girl Her Job; EEOC Urges Settlement, Finds "Reasonable Cause"
September 5, 2001
A 16-year-old girl lost her job as a bagger at her hometown grocery store because the manager feared she would send customers home with something besides bread and milk -- HIV. Korrin Krause worked only one day at Quality Foods IGA in Schofield, Wis., before the manager called her mother to verify that the girl had HIV, then said she no longer had a job. "I was shocked," said Linda Krause, Korrin's mother. "He knocked everybody with a disability back 20 years." Korrin, who has had the virus since birth, said she told the manager that she might need to take breaks at certain times to take her AIDS medications and might need certain times off for doctor's appointments. He indicated that would not be a problem and offered her a job, she said.Adapted from:
The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin helped Korrin file a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars employers from asking a worker's HIV status or discriminating against a worker because of it. In May, a commission official found "reasonable cause" to believe a violation had occurred, said compensatory and punitive damages would be considered, and invited both sides to work on a settlement.
In talks to try to settle the case, an IGA official said he did not want other store workers "to take this [HIV] home to our families," according to Christopher Krimmer, the AIDS Resource Center lawyer representing Korrin. "Their initial offer was to give her $1,000 to go around to schools and talk about what it's like to live with AIDS," he said. Both sides are still discussing possible solutions. The manager of the IGA, Thad Streeter, and the store's attorney, Thomas Crone of Madison, declined comment.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
09.02.01; Marilynn Marchione
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.