Subway Franchise Sued For Firing HIV-Positive Employee

Illustration for article titled Subway Franchise Sued For Firing HIV-Positive Employee

An Indiana Subway franchise is being sued in federal court by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for firing an employee for being HIV-positive. Stay classy, Indiana.

Via WTHR 13, the Sheridan, Indiana Subway hired the employee (listed in the lawsuit as John Doe for somewhat obvious reasons) on New Years Day of this year. Twelve days later, the employee informed his boss he was HIV-positive, and roughly a month after that, on February 14, the restaurant fired the employee.

According to the lawsuit, when informed of the employee’s HIV-positive status, the supervisor specifically asked “What if you cut yourself?” and “What about it if our customers find out?” These questions have roughly the same level of coherence (and relevance to the functioning of the restaurant) as such notable queries as “can purple taste like Thursdays,” “why don’t orcs fly,” and “do Pandas dream about Cuisinarts.”


Speaking of which, let’s go ahead and head off the idiots saying “WELL, HE COULD’VE INFECTED CUSTOMERS,” by pointing out that such a statement is utter bullshit. HIV is not transmissible through food, even if someone with the virus has bled on that food. The CDC is very clear on this point:

Except for rare cases in which children consumed food that was pre-chewed by an HIV-infected caregiver, HIV has not been spread through food. The virus does not live long outside the body. You cannot get it from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person; even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.

Thus, this entire story is bullshit. It’s even bigger bullshit than the FDA’s ban on blood donations from men who’ve had sex with men, and that’s saying something, because that is some SERIOUS bullshit.

The suit is now asking for back pay and punitive damages, which it will hopefully succeed in acquiring. Can we stop being shitty and stupid about transmissible diseases now? Please? No? OK, then, screw it, I guess.


Image via Ken Wolter/Shutterstock.

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Sings with Fishes

Just curious, and I don’t really expect honesty, but how many parents here would feed their children sandwiches made by someone they knew was HIV positive?

It’s one thing for us to smugly occupy the moral highground when we risk nothing to do so. But when what we most care about in life is potentially at risk to even the smallest chance of infection?

I’ve never been confronted by this situation in real life, so I honestly don’t know how I’d actually respond. But little risk /= NO risk. And no amount of moral outrage changes that.

Sorry, but going to guess most parents err on the side of caution.

This is more a response to the aggressively scolding tone of the article, than any questioning of the truth of it. I concede the facts asserted and that there is little risk of transmission through food preparation.

But at the risk of whatever censure, I won’t knowingly buy any food for my kids from someone HIV positive. Sorry, and nothing personal, but no.

Unlike pretty much whatever other given descriptive social category, HIV+ people can actually transmit a life-altering and potentially fatal disease. The risk might be 1:100000, or whatever, but I’m not going to voluntarily expose my kids to even that risk.

And I’m willing to bet even on this feminist progressive blogo-space, I’m not alone; whether or not anyone else will admit it.