What do you do if you're being discriminated against for having HIV?

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that causes purchased immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is broadcast through close contact with a bodily fluid infected by HIV. This transmission can come in the form of sex, blood transfusions, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or birth. AIDS is a collection of illnesses resulting from damage to the immune system due to HIV. HIV primarily infects urgent cells in the human immune response. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells. When CD4+ T cell numbers decline below a critical level, the body is left more subject to infections. If untreated, at last most HIV-infected people develop AIDS. The late stages of the condition leave individuals subject to contagions and even cancers. Some treatments exist, however as yet, there aren't any cures.


– Your employer does not permit you to miss work for medical appointments
– Your employer doesn't allow you to work, for fear that you'll infect a work mate
– Your employer does not accommodate your desire to take a reasonable period of time off work


Under the Federal Vocational Rehab Act (FVRA), an employee won't be excluded from collusion in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of a handicap. For example, an individual can't be fired, denied a job, or demoted as a result of a incapacity. Under FVRA, AIDS qualifies as a protected handicap. That suggests that HIV discrimination is not lawful.

People with AIDS will not qualify for protection under FVRA if that individual poses a threat to himself or to others. But because casual contact with an individual with AIDS almost certainly does not pose a real threat to others, people with AIDS should qualify for the protection of FVRA. Sadly, while FVRA provides protection for people discriminated against because they have Aids[**] this coverage applies only where bosses are the federal government, Fed contractors, or the receivers of Fed. funds.

In California, FEHA also provides protection for individuals discriminated on the principle of his or her AIDS status. In Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Raytheon, the court determined that AIDS is a physical handicap under FEHA, worthy of protection from discrimination. An employer may not argue that a worker with AIDS poses a hazard to others, because medical evidence shows casual contact in the workplace won't transfer AIDS.

Barney MacInow employed California labor attorneys when he was fired unlawfully for having HIV. Fighting back is an option with good labor attorneys on your side.

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