KENTUCKY PAPER SUED FOR DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

By: Joe Strupp

Lexington Herald-Leader Vows To Defend Itself


The Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader allegedly withdrew a job offer from a prospective employee after discovering that the man has the virus that causes AIDS, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Dwayne Coates, 37, filed the action in Fayette Circuit Court on Wednesday. The suit contends that he was hired on March 6 to place inserts in the Knight Ridder Inc.-owned paper, contingent upon passing a drug test.

He claimed that he told his future bosses that the drug test would come back positive because he was taking Marinol, a synthetic drug with ingredients similar to marijuana. The drug is designed to stimulate appetites in patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS. After the drug test, Coates’ job offer was withdrawn.

The suit says Coates’ experience is part of a systematic pattern of discrimination by the paper. Herald-Leader publisher Tim Kelly denied the charge in the paper’s Friday edition, saying the publication will “defend ourselves vigorously in this case.”



Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is an associate editor for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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