Lawsuit: NYPD Turned Away Applicant Because He Was HIV-Positive

The Justice Department claims police violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Federal prosecutors claim the New York Police Department violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied a position to an applicant because he was HIV-positive.

Raymond Parker applied to be a police department technician in 2013, and was given a conditional offer of employment. He then underwent a background check and medical examination, where he disclosed his HIV status and the antiretroviral meds he was on.

Street scene from Broadway at Times Square at twilight - NY Police Department car on duty in the foreground with traffic and numerous illuminated billboards in the background.

But after requesting more tests, the NYPD notified Parker he was “medically disqualified” for the job because his T-cell count was too low. In a lawsuit, Parker states he was qualified for the job, which entailed administrative duties and serving as emergency call dispatcher.

“I know that there are hundreds of thousands of diseases that people work with and there is no reason to exclude me because of my disability,” Parker, 60, told the New York Post.


He filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found “reasonable cause” to believe his claim. The EEOC referred the case to the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed the lawsuit last Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Parker said he signed paperwork offering him the job again, as well as back pay. A spokesman for the NYPD, the nation’s largest police force, maintained “the case has not been resolved.”

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