Workplace discrimination against HIV-positive employees

| Oct 12, 2015 | Workplace Discrimination |

Employers in California are not allowed to discriminate against employees who are HIV-positive. During the hiring process, an employer cannot ask a potential employee if they have HIV or another type of medical condition. However, employers may ask if a potential employee has a medical condition that would cause them to be unable to perform the job, and an employer may require potential employees to pass a medical exam.

It is only legal to require a person to pass a medical exam before they are hired if everyone applying for the same type of job position is required to pass the same medical exam. The physical abilities that are assessed during the medical exam must be related to the necessary job duties that the applicant will be expected to perform. During the medical exam, the examiner may ask about the job applicant’s HIV status.

Once a person who is HIV-positive is hired for a job, their employer must make reasonable accommodations for their medical condition. For the purposes of employment, HIV is considered a physical disability. If an employee with HIV needs time off for medical reasons, a change in their work schedule or light-duty work, their employer must provide these things as long as they are not unreasonably costly.

It is important to note that an employee can only file a disability discrimination claim against their employer if they were honest about their HIV-positive status when they were asked. If a person was fired from their job after disclosing medical information to their employer, they may have a case for filing a disability discrimination claim with the appropriate state or federal agency.


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