New Jersey Home Healthcare Provider Settles HIV Discrimination Allegations with U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS

HIV Discrimination Settlement

New Jersey Home Healthcare Provider Settles HIV Discrimination Allegations with U.S. Attorney’s Office and HHS

In a significant move towards upholding civil rights, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR), has reached a settlement with Comfort Hands Home Healthcare LLC. The Marlton-based home healthcare provider was under scrutiny for allegedly discriminating against a person with HIV, violating multiple federal acts.

The government’s investigation revealed that Comfort Hands had unjustly denied services to a potential client due to her HIV status. U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger emphasized that such discrimination is unacceptable, especially from healthcare providers. He reiterated the ADA’s stance against service denial based on an individual’s HIV status.

OCR Director Melanie Fontes Rainer also voiced her support, highlighting the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ dedication to ensuring nondiscrimination in HHS-funded services. She further mentioned the Olmstead Initiative’s role in eliminating discriminatory barriers, ensuring individuals with disabilities receive services in their homes and communities.

As part of the settlement, Comfort Hands will:

  • Introduce a non-discrimination policy, ensuring individuals with disabilities, including those with or perceived to have HIV, have equal access to its services.
  • Mandate non-discrimination training for its employees.
  • Compensate the individual who faced this discrimination.

The ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act collectively prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including HIV. U.S. Attorney Sellinger’s establishment of a Civil Rights Division last year further underscores the commitment to enforcing these federal civil rights laws.

Victims of discrimination are encouraged to file complaints with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. For more details on the ADA, HIV discrimination, and related acts, individuals can visit the provided official links.

The government’s representation in this case included a team of dedicated attorneys and officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Division and the HHS OCR.