AIDS, Employment, and the Direct Threat Defense: The Burden of Proof and the Circuit Court Split

October 31, 2011

This Note examines disability-related discrimination in light of the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and in the context of an HIV- or AIDS-infected employee. Under the ADA, an employer may legally fire a worker who poses a direct threat to the individuals around him or her. It is unclear, however, whether the burden of proving or disproving the claim that an individual is a direct threat lies with the employer or the employee. This Note analyzes the circuit split over which party bears the burden of proof under the direct threat standard in light of prospective HIV-related litigation.

October 2007

No. 1