In July 2013, Raymond Parker was hoping to get a job with the NYPD as a police communications technician. After he applied, he received a “conditional” offer of employment. However, during a routine medical exam, Parker told officials that he was HIV-positive. The NYPD asked for more information on his CD4 count, which is a health measurement for people living with HIV. The lower the count, the higher the risk of illness.
In December 2013, the NYPD sent Parker a “notice of medical disqualification” claiming his CD4 count was low. When Parker was denied the position, he joined forces with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and sued the city for NYPD’s actions. Parker, who is now 61-years old, told the New York Post, “I keep myself in shape. I don’t let my body wither. I live life to the fullest. I felt confident I could do the job.”
Parker came out victorious in his suit against the city and he was able to reach a settlement. Now, he has a new offer of employment from the NYPD, as well as a $85,000 check. As part of the settlement, the city also acknowledged it’s wrongdoing of disqualifying Parker for a job due to his HIV status — which is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“As a result of this lawsuit, the City of New York has acknowledged that HIV status is not a basis to deny an individual employment,” said the Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim. Joon Kim added, “We will continue to work to ensure that employers do not discriminate against job applicants with disabilities.”