EEOC files discrimination suit against Plasma Center for perceived disability

On June 23, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a discrimination lawsuit against Plasma Biological Services, LLC and Interstate Blood Bank, Inc. d/b/a Plasma Biological Services, which own and operate plasma collection centers throughout southern United States. The suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division, post an attempt to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. (EEOC v. Plasma Biological Services, LLC and Interstate Blood Bank, Inc. d/b/a Plasma Biological Services, Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-02419).

Plasma Biological Services is a Tennessee-based company having its principal office in Memphis, Tennessee. The company with 30 locations across 14 states is engaged in the business of drawing human source plasma and selling it for profit.

The company violated the federal law, namely Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating against an employee of a perceived disability, in this case, an HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive.

Plasma Biological Services had categorized the employee on a deferred donor list after an initial screening for a plasma donation showed a viral marker for HIV. This was in accordance with one of the company policies that terminated any employee who tested positive for a viral marker. Keeping in line with this policy, the company failed to maintain employee medical records separate from their personnel files. Thus, the employee was immediately discharged from services by his supervisor. Subsequent tests however revealed the contrary.

The lawsuit aims at seeking monetary relief for the employee in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against further discrimination on the basis of disability.



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