Man sues over former employer, recruiter over revealing HIV status


SCHAUMBURG — A Naperville man this week sued his former Schaumburg-based recuiter and Elgin-based employer for revealing his HIV status and later firing him.

From the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights:

A 34-year-old Naperville man identified in court records as John Doe seeks damages from Medela of Elgin and the owner of Gotham Professional Services in Schaumburg in a lawsuit filed in Kane County last month.

The suit argues Doe’s civil rights were breached and the two companies violated the AIDS Confidentiality Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the state’s Human Rights Act.

According to the suit, Doe was hired in March 2017 and placed by Gotham at Medela, which makes and sells breast-feeding products. That April, while completing an application for a permanent position, Doe disclosed to his supervisor he had a disability because he was HIV-positive, according to the suit.

On May 5, at a baby shower for a Medela employee, Doe learned his medical history had been shared by his Medela supervisor, Mary Abraham, with Gotham President Susan Gotham, according to the suit. Three days later, Doe was called into a meeting with Susan Gotham where his HIV-positive condition was discussed without his consent with others, the suit argues.

Later that month, Doe was issued a two-week deadline to meet “unrealistic” sales goals, was suspended May 30, 2017, for lack of performance and fired the next day, according to the suit.

The man’s attorney, Melisa Quinones, told the Herald that Doe had tried to settle the issue through the Illinois Human Rights Commission, but neither company would take responsibility. The state Equal Employment Opportunity Commission deterimined that Doe had met the burden of proof and allowed the complaint to move forward. Every one is due in court on Nov. 29.