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Lambda Legal: HIV Positive Helicopter Paramedic Lost Job; Sues

Lawsuit Alleges HIV Positive Paramedic Pulled From Job by Air Evac Lifeteam Because He’s Living With HIV.

According to a press release on Lambda Legal’s website and imstilljosh.com’s communication with the alleged victim, serious questions of workplace judgement and actions have been brought against a health related company.

From the press release:

“Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on behalf of Clinton (Clint) Moore, who was removed from his job as a flight paramedic with Air Evac Lifeteam (AEL) and demoted to a lower-paying post in the company dispatch center after informing company management that he had been diagnosed with HIV.
“Sadly, people living with HIV too often find themselves terminated from jobs solely because of their HIV-positive status. Clint and many others like him still suffer the consequences of their employers’ fear and ignorance,” said Kyle Palazzolo, HIV Project Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal. “Mr. Moore’s HIV-positive status did not interfere with his ability to perform his job duties, and Air Evac Lifeteam over-reacted and unlawfully pulled Clint from the job he loved.”

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Mr. Moore was hired in 2008 as a flight paramedic by Air Evac Lifeteam, a Missouri-based helicopter ambulance service that transports patients to medical care facilities. In November 2013, Moore was diagnosed with HIV. Shortly after he informed his employer of his HIV diagnosis, company officials told Moore that he would need to petition the medical board in each of the five states where he flew missions or face removal from his job. Knowing that his job did not include tasks that would put the health or safety of his patients at risk—and that the suggested petition process was unnecessary — Mr. Moore refused. Because he needed to maintain his health care coverage, Mr. Moore was forced to take a position in AEL’s dispatch center, which paid significantly less and deprived him of the ability to directly care for those in need.

“This conduct is especially troubling from an employer in the health care field, who should already be aware that Mr. Moore’s HIV-positive status did not present a risk to either his patients or his coworkers,” Palazzolo added. “AEL and other employers in the health care industry need to get up to speed and stop discriminating against people living with HIV based on outdated science and misconceptions.”

In its lawsuit, Lambda Legal claims AEL violated Title 1 of the American with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Missouri Human Rights Act.

HIV Project Director/Senior Attorney Scott Schoettes and HIV Project Staff Attorney Kyle Palazzolo are handling the case for Lambda Legal, joined by local counsel Bruce E. Hopson. The case is Moore v. Air Evac Lifeteam, and information on the case can be found here.”

imstilljosh.com has a request in for a video interview of the alleged victim to Lambda Legal and a request for comment to Air Evac Lifeteam. We have not received a response by time of publication. 


11 Comments Join the Conversation →

  1. Ian

    As a positive paramedic myself. This is my worst nightmare, I wish I could reach out to this dude in support.

    • John

      Same with me!! Jefferson Health was aware of my status and we’re just fine! This really blows dude!

      (in reply to Ian)
    • Matthew

      You have. Just in posting your message.

      (in reply to Ian)
  2. Kat

    Hang in there my friend

  3. Jane

    Unbelievable that with what we know, this would even be an issue! I was a medic for 14 years and now a RN in the ER and let’s hope our blood or bodily fluid doesn’t come in contact with our patients! What if he had Hep C? Personally I’d rather be exposed to HIV over Hep C. A dirty needle stick from HIV is a 0.03% chance of transmission versus Hep C at 33%. Regardless, this should be an irrelevant non-issue being it does not affect or interfere in anyway with performing as a Paramedic. Give me a break Missouri!!! I hope you put a dent in their finances for not only being completely ignorant and behind the times, but for putting this (sounds to me) excellent flight medic in such a crappy situation! Shame on this employer!

  4. Tyler Bowen

    PLEASE start a gofundme page! We are behind you 100%. As an HIV Positive person myself, I personally will NOT stand for this!

  5. Sandra

    I know this medic. He did NOT get demoted for his HIV status. There is more to this story that you’re being led to believe.

    • willie1177

      No disrespect meant, but why should people believe you? This being the internet and all, anyone can say anything.

      (in reply to Sandra)
    • David

      Sandra may think that she personally knows this medic and the real story,I assure you that she doesn’t. I can also promise you that when this medic was demoted that is was much easier to allow people to start rumors and believe and speculate what they want to vs speaking up at the time and telling the truth and risk further discrimination from a company that already did. Additionally you can’t just file a discrimination suit in federal court because you want to. You must first file a complaint with the EEOC (a government agency), then they do an extensive investigation that can take up to one year to complete, THEN if they feel like a discrimination occurred they give you a “right to sue” letter. This case was already filed in federal court and already investigated, if he wasn’t canned because of this then he wouldn’t have been allowed to even file. Stop being a troll Sandra and stating on things and people you know nothing about

      (in reply to Sandra)
  6. Amy

    I know this medic, too, and I stand behind him 100%. He is a wonderful person, and just as David said it was a lot easier for him to allow the rumors to roll off as insignificant than to open up about something that has already caused him grief, especially while still trying to come to terms with the situation himself! I would put my life in his hands in a heartbeat, and the life of my family members. He may be a character to work with, but NO flight crew member ever gets ‘demoted’ to the dispatch center just for disciplinary actions. The company doesn’t work that way, it was take a non-patient care position or lose your job because of your positive status. He deserves so much better treatment!

Comments are closed.