NC Dental Clinic Must Pay $30K For HIV Discrimination

Via press release from the Justice Department:

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement to resolve a claim that Night and Day Dental Inc. discriminated against a woman with HIV in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Night and Day Dental operates nine dental offices throughout North Carolina. This settlement is part of the department’s Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative (initiative), a partnership of the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s offices across the nation to ensure that people with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, who have HIV and who have mobility disabilities, have equal access to medical services.

Title III of the ADA prohibits dentists and other health care providers from discriminating against people with disabilities, including HIV. Following an investigation, the department found that Night and Day Dental discriminated against a woman with HIV when it refused to accept her as a new patient because of her HIV status.

The patient was seeking routine dental care, including a cleaning and check-up. In addition, Night and Day Dental has a policy of requiring certain bloodwork results from patients with HIV before deciding whether to provide dental care, when in fact requiring such results is not medically necessary or recommended.

Under the settlement, Night and Day Dental must pay $30,000 to the victim of the discrimination. In addition, Night and Day Dental must train its staff on the ADA, develop and use a non-discrimination policy, and report and explain to the department every time it either refuses to treat a person with HIV or stops providing treatment after learning of a patient’s HIV.