Kansas man fired from restaurant after being diagnosed HIV positive, claims lawsuit
Armando Gutierrez was working as a server at the Big Biscuit restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas, when he was diagnosed with HIV
A man has filed a lawsuit against a Kansas restaurant claiming they fired him because of his HIV positive diagnosis, which is in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act that "prohibits discrimination by employers, places of public accommodation, and state and local government entities."
Armando Gutierrez was working as a server at the Big Biscuit restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas, when he was diagnosed with HIV, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.
Afterward, he asked his manager to sign a form so he could get medication from a state program. Just one day later, he was informed he was being transferred to another location and told he would be working Sundays, something they had assured him he wouldn't have to do when he was hired because of "family commitments."
When he told them he couldn't work that schedule, he was promptly fired. "Almost immediately upon learning of Plaintiff's medical diagnosis, management changed his schedule in such a way that it knew he could not continue to work," the lawsuit states.
It argues that, in the year he worked at Big Biscuit, Guiterrez "did well and management liked his work," and is seeking back pay and damages as he was fired without any warning.
Mark Duggan, one of Gutierrez's lawyers, said his client was still "angry and upset" about the termination. "He's obviously upset about his diagnosis and the fact that he lost his job because of it just exacerbated the problem," he said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that someone can't get HIV by eating food handled by an HIV positive person because "even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus."
Big Biscuit has yet to respond to the lawsuit.