Thanks to the Federal Law established on Title I on Americans with Disabilities, people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are protected against acts of discrimination.
This law establishes that employers are prohibited from discriminating against any person, whether applicants or employees, solely because they are carriers of the disease.
It is considered illegal to refuse to hire someone or fire someone because the employer believes that HIV may be contagious between employees. It’s also not valid to assume that the person cannot perform the activities in the same way a person who does not have the disease could do them. However, any carrier who is prepared and qualified for employment will be able to perform the job activities, considering only certain limitations for his immune system and any possible accommodations within reason.
In addition, when interviewing a candidate, this same law mentions that an interviewer is prohibited from requesting medical tests from the applicant. But, he is allowed to ask questions to find out if the person can perform work-related activities without the need for adaptations different from those of other employees.
In the event that an employer commits a discriminatory act against a person who has HIV/AIDS, such as unfairly dismissing or deciding not to hire the job applicant, this act may be reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the U.S. By making this report, a lawsuit is filed against whoever discriminated against the plaintiff. The report must occur within 180 days after the act of discrimination occurred.
After this process, the responsible party must pay compensation to the discriminated person for the damage caused, both emotionally and financially.
If you have suffered discrimination for being HIV-positive, contact the Guerra & Casillas team to receive professional legal advice. We can help ensure your rights are upheld and you get what you deserve for being mistreated by an employer.