We first reported the other week on James White, an office worker at Great Expressions Dental Clinic in Detroit, who claimed that after his employers learned he was HIV+, he was sprayed with Lysol, banned from touching doorknobs and made subject to erratic schedule changes—before ultimately being fired.
Now that a Change.org petition asking the company to apologize for such harassment has received more than 35,000 supporters, though, Great Expressions is fighting back.
In a statement circulated to the press, the company’s human-resources director, Todd Gustke, wrote:
Great Expressions takes pride in being an equal opportunity employer–not just in adherence to the law, but because we believe it makes us a better company. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Great Expressions Dental Centers are based on merit, qualifications and abilities.
Recently, numerous public and false allegations have been made in an online campaign seeking to paint Great Expressions Dental Centers in a negative light. This malicious campaign has resulted in emails and harassing telephone calls to our employees and shareholders. We immediately petitioned the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, seeking a declaration in the proper forum that we did not discriminate or otherwise violate the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. We are confident that the Court will find these accusations to be without merit.
Well, if their HR flack said it, it must be true.