NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has sued New York City for revoking an emergency dispatcher job offer it made to a man before he disclosed he had HIV, which the police department said disqualified him from the position.
Lawyers for the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed late on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court that the police action was discriminatory under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city’s legal department is reviewing the lawsuit, spokesman Nick Paolucci said in an email on Wednesday.
According to the lawsuit, Raymond Parker of Brooklyn applied in July 2013 to be a police communications technician. The job involves taking calls for emergency services, working as a radio dispatcher for police resources and other clerical duties, the lawsuit said.
Parker received a conditional offer of employment but received a notice of medical disqualification in December 2013 after undergoing medical exams and completing paperwork that disclosed he had the human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV. The notice cited the AIDS-causing virus, the lawsuit said.
“Being HIV positive, even if asymptomatic, is a disability” under federal disabilities law, the lawsuit said.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated a complaint by Parker and tried unsuccessfully to reach a settlement with the city, according to the lawsuit.
The Justice Department is asking a judge to declare New York’s action discriminatory, bar the city from doing it again and compensate Parker.
Reporting by David Ingram; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and David Gregorio
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