RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Utah man sues Alaska State Troopers, claims conditional job offer revoked over HIV status

Jun 9, 2023, 10:27 AM | Updated: 10:43 am

FILE: A view of the downtown skyline with mountains in the rear on July 10, 2022 in Anchorage, Alaska. A Utah man is suing Alaska, claiming his application to become an Alaska State Trooper was eliminated when the Alaska learned the man has H-I-V (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images).

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who wanted to join the Alaska State Troopers is now suing and saying the department withdrew a job offer because he has H-I-V.

He had a conditional job offer in hand and had made it to the final ten of 245 applicants. The state of Alaska said the man’s application fell out of contention because other candidates lived in Alaska.

The decision to pull the man’s application may not have been illegal, said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas.

“I think that employers can make decisions based on that,” Skordas said. “It’s something we wouldn’t want to happen necessarily, but I don’t know that it’s necessarily illegal.”

Skordas said the case could balance on whether carrying H-I-V counts as a disability. If so, the Utah plaintiff can claim having a protected status under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Skordas also said that H-I-V differs from other protected classes.

“Obviously if you discriminate or fail to hire somebody, or make a decision, based on race or religion or national origin, that’s one thing,” Skordas said. “Based on a pre-existing medical condition isn’t quite so easy to define.

The lawsuit alleges the state of Alaska did not take into consideration whether five other finalists for the job lived in Alaska when deciding to keep their applications active. 

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Utah man sues Alaska State Troopers, claims conditional job offer revoked over HIV status