Council 'stalls' HIV sacking claim

A gay man who claims he was sacked for being HIV positive and is suing for wrongful dismissal believes his former employer, Haringey council, is delaying proceedings so he becomes too ill to fight the case.

David Morgan was a security supervisor in a block of flats in Wood Green. In July 1992 the council refused to convert his six-month probationary contract into a full-time post.

Haringey contends that Mr Morgan used the telephone to excess, did not get along with colleagues and was inappropriately overt about his sexuality.

Mr Morgan maintains that he was discriminated against on the grounds of his sexuality and medical condition, and that Haringey has breached its own codes on sexual harassment. The council is an equal opportunities employer.

He says he used the telephone to seek guidance from his superiors and was ostracised by fellow employees after he complained about a superior who repeatedly made homophobic remarks and who was subsequently suspended.

Mr Morgan is also at a loss to know what he did that was 'inappropriately overt'.

Shortly after his job ended, Haringey sued Mr Morgan to recover money advanced to pay for a Travelcard. When he requested that his case be re-examined he was turned down.

Last year he began legal proceedings against the council. Mr Morgan is claiming wrongful dismissal and damages for breach of confidentiality, as his collegues learned he was HIV-positive, and homosexual, allegedly from one of his managers after he sought counselling.

However, despite several preliminary hearings the case is unlikely to reach court for judgment until September, as the council are refusing to disclose documents from a disciplinary meeting at which his sexuality and conduct were discussed. Mr Morgan's solicitor will again attempt to obtain the papers at Ilford County Court on July 4.

Yesterday Mr Morgan, 35, accused the council of delaying proceedings in the hope that he will drop the charges or become too ill to fight the case. He recently spent several days at a nursing home recovering from a serious chest infection.

'If Haringey are so confident that everything they did was correct then they should produce the paperwork. I have nothing to hide, he said.

'This case is placing me under considerable stress - and HIV and stress don't go well together. I am prepared to meet them half way, to sit round the table and discuss this, if they are prepared to do the same.

Deborah Prance, Mr Morgan's solicitor, said the council was also at fault for not following the correct disciplinary proceedures.

A spokeswoman for Haringey said the parties disagreed as to which documents were relevant to the case. To disclose certain papers would compromise the confidentiality of other council employees, she said.

'We are anxious to settle this matter. It has been going on for two years, and it is too late to resolve this anywhere but in the courts.'

(Photograph omitted)

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