The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal law enforcement agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination, brought this lawsuit against Popeye's Chicken franchise. A Longview, Texas, general manager refused employment to an applicant based on discovery of the applicant's HIV status. As the EEOC made clear in its press release, "[p]ursuing this case is part of the EEOC's overall strategic effort to encourage employers to prevent discrimination by making hiring decisions that are well-informed, rather than snap judgments that are based on myths, fears and stereotypes about people with HIV." Challenging HIV-related discrimination cases through EEOC or private litigation is critically important to ensure that people living with HIV have employment opportunities, and to combat HIV prejudice, bias, and stigma.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national legal and policy resource and strategy center working to reduce the impact of HIV on vulnerable and marginalized communities and to secure the human rights of people affected by HIV.