Man sacked for being gay and HIV-positive awarded damages in landmark case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A man has been awarded damages in Austria after being dismissed from a new job for being gay and HIV positive.

The landmark ruling was made in the Innsbruck regional court, reports the Local. 

The state of Tyrol was made to pay the man €35,000 in damages, after he was dismissed from the job during a trial period after revealing his HIV status and sexual orientation.

After being represented by gay rights group RKL, the man now expects to receive the lump sum, as well as a sum equal to what he would have earned and received in pension benefits if he were kept on.

RKL said the man was unfairly dismissed. The man was allegedly stalked by his ex-partner, and that the state of Tyrol outed him.

He was told by bosses that he should be looking for other work, and then he was sacked three days later.

The man’s employers said he was not dismissed because of his sexual orientation, and that they had previously tried to terminate his employment before they knew he was HIV positive.

The Local reports that the decision may still be appealed at a higher court.