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Woman claims she lost job because of AIDS, seeks over $1 million

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources,Office Management,Records Retention

A Plant City woman has filed suit against 5-D Tropical, a Tampa fish farmer and importer, for AIDS discrimination.

The woman became sick two years ago, vomiting so frequently that she began keeping a waste can next to her desk at work. When she was diagnosed with AIDS, her supervisor allegedly told her, “I’m sorry, I feel bad … but we just can’t have it here,” and fired her.

5-D Tropical says she was fired for missing too much work and failing to return when promised.

This is the employee’s second lawsuit against 5-D, following an overtime suit settled with the company last October. Her attorney notes that 5-D Tropical has no employee handbook on discrimination law and no internal grievance process, and made no mention of chronic absences in the woman’s file. The employee seeks a seven-figure settlement plus reinstatement.

Final note: What would a seven-figure settlement do to your company? Every employer, no matter how small, must have an employee handbook, published policies, standard hiring and firing procedures and thorough documentation in personnel files.  


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