By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com June 16 2010 4:25 PM ET
A New York housekeeper is suing a prospective employer, claiming that she demanded the housekeeper take an HIV test—and produce her negative results—before she could start work.
Agnes Cybulska, who has been in the relatively unregulated housekeeping industry for 19 years, is suing Dana Hammond, the heiress to the Annenberg family, according to The New York Times. Cybulska answered an ad she found on Craigslist posted by an employment agency that called for an "experienced executive Polish housekeeper." Duties included supervising the domestic staff, cleaning, running errands, and caring for Hammond's daughter.
When Cybulska visited Hammond at one of her homes in January, she said Hammond told her the job would not pay the advertised $1,000 per week, but instead $150 daily, for nine hours, without benefits or overtime. In a second interview, according to Cybulska, Hammond demanded that she take and pass an HIV test, something Hammond has required of everyone on her domestic staff.
Hammond said she had recently been tested herself after using a toilet that seemed unsanitary; the statement struck Cybulska as odd. Cybulska then informed the employment agency that Hammond was demanding the test be administered, and soon after, agency executives informed her that she was not right for the position.
Cybulska's suit, filed Tuesday in a state court in Manhattan, says the testing requirement violates New York City's Human Rights Law. It names both Hammond and the employment agency, Domestic Job Picks, as defendants. Their representatives were not available for comment to the Times.
Discriminating against someone with HIV is also illegal under the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.