In a lengthy published opinion, RQ&N client C.R. England (represented by Scott Hagen, Mike Blue, and Jonathan Pappasideris) achieved a significant victory at the Tenth Circuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and an HIV-positive individual plaintiff in a complex disability discrimination case.
Although eight claims in total were brought against C.R. England, the thorniest issue involved the individual plaintiff’s (who was a trainer for England truck drivers) voluntary disclosure of his medical condition to England and England’s subsequent use of an “acknowledgment and consent form” with his driver-trainee. The form, which did not identify the plaintiff by name, was provided to his trainee prior to assigning him to the plaintiff and informed the trainee that his trainer (the plaintiff) had HIV. In addition, before assigning the trainee to the plaintiff, England required the trainee to sign the form and consent to being trained by the plaintiff.
Despite these difficult and politically incorrect facts, RQ&N was able to demonstrate that, based on the unique circumstances of this case, the plaintiff had suffered no adverse action because no trainee refused to train with him and his job duties, responsibilities, and benefits were not negatively affected in any way. In addition, RQ&N defeated the EEOC’s argument that the use of the form constituted an unlawful disclosure under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as six other federal discrimination and state law tort claims.