The Atlanta City Council today approved a settlement of $250,000 to an HIV positive man who sued the city when he was allegedly denied a job with the city's police department because of his HIV status.
Richard Roe, the plaintiff's pseudonym used throughout the lawsuit, first applied to the Atlanta Police Department in early 2006, but was denied employment due to his HIV status, his lawsuit claimed. According to Lambda Legal, who represented Roe: "During a pre-employment medical exam, the APD learned that Roe was HIV-positive, and the doctor informed Roe that his HIV status disqualified him from becoming a police officer with the APD."
The check for the full amount was made to Richard Roe and The Koval Firm, owned by Steve Koval, a gay attorney who has represented Roe from the beginning before getting assistance from Lamba Legal.
Roe sued the city when he wasn't hired. City lawyers first maintained that Atlanta did not have a policy against hiring police officers with HIV, then later claimed that his HIV status presented a "direct threat" to others.
"Actions speak louder than words," said Koval in a previous statement.