FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
THURSDAY, JULY 11, 1996                            (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today
announced a settlement with an Illinois restaurant that allegedly
fired a waiter because he had AIDS.  Under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), persons with HIV and AIDS are protected
"individuals with disabilities".  

     According to the agreement, the Decatur Illinois Park
District, operators of the Main Hangar Restaurant in Decatur,
will implement a policy to educate its workers about the ADA,
which prohibits discrimination against people who have AIDS or
HIV.  The park district will also pay compensatory damages to the
fired waiter.

     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has
found no evidence indicating that AIDS can be transmitted in
connection with the preparation of food or beverages.  AIDS can
only be transmitted by sexual contact with an infected
individual, exposure to infected blood or blood products, and
from an infected mother to her infant.    

     "The Justice Department is committed to protecting the
rights of people with HIV and AIDS," said Deval L. Patrick,
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.  "There is no
medical or legal justification to exclude individuals with AIDS
or HIV as food service workers."  

     In 1994, the man filed a complaint with the Equal
Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) alleging that he was
terminated from his position as a waiter at the Main Hangar
restaurant because he had the AIDS virus.  He began his job on
February 1, 1994, informed the restaurant of his condition on
February 16, and was terminated from his position on February 22. 

     Under the agreement the park district will:
         sponsor a training program to educate food service
          employees about the requirements of the ADA with
          respect to individuals with HIV/AIDS;

         publish a HIV/AIDS non-discrimination policy in
          employee handbooks; and,

         pay compensatory damages of $17,500 to the complainant.

     The EEOC currently has over 1,000 charges filed against
employers alleged to have discriminated against individuals with
HIV or AIDS.  Some of the charges were brought by food handlers
and several private lawsuits have also been filed alleging HIV-
related discrimination in food service settings.

     The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of
disabilities in employment, public services, and public

     As part of its public education campaign, the Justice
Department has created a public service announcement advertising
a toll-free ADA hotline.  The ADA hotline number is 1-800-514-0301 or (TDD) 1-800-514-0303.
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