Included in this section are statutes, regulations, court decisions, agency guidelines and other materials related to employment discrimination on the basis of HIV status, occupational restrictions for HIV-positive people, and employer-provided disability benefits. Employment discrimination against people living with HIV may take the form of bias in hiring, refusal to grant workplace modifications to accommodate medical conditions, or unjustified termination. Moreover, practice and licensing restrictions imposed on HIV-positive individuals, such as health care professionals, fuels stigma that keeps many people with HIV closeted about their status. Titles I and II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 exist to protect people with disabilities, including people living with HIV, from this kind of discrimination in the workplace, but the law is only as strong as its judicial interpretation.
Center for HIV Law and Policy's Primer on Employment Rights and People Living with HIV/AIDS
HIV employment discrimination remains a significant problem. Despite the fact that most people with HIV who receive regular health care remain healthy for years, and the fact that HIV is transmitted through limited and established routes, many Americans remain unwilling to work in proximity to people living with HIV. The Center for HIV Law and Policy's new primer was prepared in response to this problem, to arm advocates with the basic understanding necessary to assess and undertake a case on behalf of individuals who experience unfair treatment in the workplace because they are living with HIV.
State Guidelines for HIV-Positive Health Care Workers, The Center for HIV Law & Policy
This chart summarizes the guidelines and policies currently in place regarding HIV-positive health care workers (HCWs) in all 50 states, as well as some U.S. territories. For each state, the chart includes any relevant guidelines, statutes, or regulations, as well as definitions of "HCW" and "invasive procedure" adopted by the state. It also includes information on the state's policy related to testing HCWs for HIV, notification of patients, and implementation of restrictions on the practice of HIV-positive HCWs.
The guidelines, statutes, and regulations referenced in this document were adopted between 1991 and 1993 in response to a CDC directive that was eventually codified. In the 15 years since these policies were put in place, the limited ways in which HIV transmission is a genuine risk, and the absence of such risk to health care patients, has been solidly confirmed. In 2000, Professor Larry Gostin called for a revision of the national policy restricting the practices of HIV-positive HCWs, concluding that such a policy is not necessary because of the negligible risk of HIV transmission and that, because the policy unnecessarily stigmatizes HIV-positive HCWs, some HCWs might avoid or delay testing, or leave the medical profession altogether. Click here to download.
How to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Guide for Restaurants and Other Food Service Employers, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC's guidelines on the employment of food service workers make clear that HIV is not a food-borne disease and that an employee's or potential employee's status as HIV-infected is not alone a sound basis on which to base hiring or employment assignment decisions. Click here to download.