Tag Archives: HIV discrimination

NYC Hotel Worker Awarded More Than $500,000 In Wrongful HIV Termination Lawsuit

The Manhattan club

Last Thursday a jury awarded Antonio Muñoz — a 50-year-old HIV-positive man more than $500,000 in a wrongful termination suit against the Manhattan Club, in NYC.  Muñoz’s termination came in February 2011 when he received a suspicious complaint against him after filing a discrimination complaint against his employer.

Muñoz  had explained to a supervisor that he was being treated for a chronic condition that required him to take a medication at night that causes drowsiness, his lawsuit stated and he asked to be moved to the day shift.

His supervisor denied the request. Even after he produced a doctor’s note, his supervisor not only turned him down, she suggested that he quit, the suit says.

Muñoz was eventually put on a day shift but it didn’t last.

His supervisor told him he would be put back on nights starting April 30, 2010, prompting Muñoz to file a “complaint of disability discrimination” with human resources.

Not long after, Muñoz received a scathing evaluation “full of falsehoods,” his suit stated adding that a few years earlier Muñoz r an office manager was awarded two raises and received an “Exemplary Manager Award”

He was fired in February 2011 after an anonymous — and suspicious — complaint was leveled against him.

The following year was miserable for Muñoz, who struggled to find work and lost his apartment to foreclosure..

On Thursday, a jury awarded him $185,000 in compensatory damages and $347,500 in punitive damages to be paid out over 3 years.

Muñoz, said he was ‘estatic’ over the verdict, but the money was never the point. ‘At least I know that I was able to tell my story,

HIV Positive Teacher Forced To Resign From California School

Matthew Edmondson,  was a beloved middle school science teacher who had worked at The Pegasus  School in Huntington Beach, California for four years before leaving to  teach in Texas, and was asked to return to the school to teach 8th grade  science in the spring of 2007.  Past  administrators and staff at the school were aware that Matthew was gay and  HIV positive and  were all very accommodating and friendly.

But that changed in October 2011, when Matthew’s doctor changed his medication which caused some adverse side effects.  But Matthew kept on teaching never using than his allotted personal time off and  in fact, throughout his tenure from 2002 on, he rarely used personal time off.

Matthew reported the side effects of his new medication to recently appointed Head of School, John Zurn and Joseph Williamson, the middle school director and that was when things changed drastically for Matthew at The Pegasus  School .

According to court documents both Zurn and Williamson waged a discrimination campaign against Matthew  starting in February 2012, including a series of randomly scheduled  meetings under the guise of discussing Matthew’s curriculum plans for  the coming year even though no other Pegasus teachers were asked to do so . It was during these meetings that  Zurn and Williamson harassment grew demanding to know Matthew’s reasons for personal time  off while criticizing his teaching methods for the first time in his  career, despite Matthew’s glowing 9-year teaching evaluations.

At one point Matthew tried to record one of the randomly scheduled  meetings in an effort to document the harassment to which he was  subjected.  Upon  learning of this, Zurn and Williamson demanded that Matthew sign a  Confidential Agreement and Release on March 21 or they would contact the  District Attorney’s office and have him arrested and prosecuted.Under duress, Matthew signed the agreement two days later and left the school

The Pegasus school is now being sued by Matthew for multiple reasons, including workplace discrimination  due to sexual orientation, medical condition and physical disability;  creating and/or knowingly permitting harassment and a hostile work  environment; breach of contract; wrongful termination; and violations of business and professions codes.

Said  Brian Chase, partner at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys who are Matthews lawyers:  This is a textbook case of workplace discrimination. What’s  tragic is that this is a respected teacher, friend and colleague who  has spent his entire professional career educating children and helping  others.  Simply  put, Matthew was forced out of his job due to egregious verbal abuse,  derogatory comments, insults and threats of criminal prosecution for no  other reasons than his sexual orientation and medical condition.”

I hope that Matthew wins from them every penny  have

But in the meantime, you all know what to do.

The Pegasus School
19692 Lexington Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92646