Human Relations Commission Orders Lehigh Valley Personal Care Facility to Pay More than $63,250 for Illegal HIV Discrimination

Sep 30, 2010, 13:00 ET from Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ordered Canal Side Care Manor, in Walnutport, Northampton County, and owner Lakshmi Kademani, to pay more than $63,250 in compensatory damages and civil penalties for illegally denying equal housing opportunity to a resident because she was HIV-positive. The order took effect Tuesday, Sept. 28.

An individual, identified only as G.D. in order to protect her privacy, filed a complaint alleging that Canal Side Manor personal care facility made her move out because she was HIV positive. The commission found Canal Side's actions to be illegal under the Pa. Human Relations Act, which prohibits housing discrimination based on a person's disability.

The commission ordered Canal Side and Kademani to pay G.D. $50,000 to compensate for humiliation and embarrassment, plus six percent interest per annum, calculated from Jan. 2, 2008 until payment is made. To date, the interest brings the award to over $58,250.

Canal Side and Kademi were also ordered to:

  • cease and desist from illegal discriminatory practices;
  • pay the commonwealth $5,000 in civil penalties;
  • establish and post non-discrimination policies specific to HIV and AIDS;
  • notify referral sources of HIV and AIDS non-discrimination policies;
  • undergo state-approved annual staff training on HIV transmission, universal precautions and individual rights under the Pa. Human Relations Act; and
  • to report quarterly on the above to appropriate state agencies.

The company has 30 days to report to the commission on how it will comply with the order.

Media contact: Shannon Powers, 717-783-8266

SOURCE Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission