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Right to work with HIV?
Feb 15, 2012

Hello, My son was just recently diagnosed with HIV. He is a mnager for a popular fast food chain and works for "franchise. Out of loyalty he informed his boss of the diagnosis who has since put him on hold to "check" with his legal department as to whether he can remain employed....Oh my goodness, he isnt around knives of any kind, he doesnt risk infecting anyone because he is really a paper ousher and manager....CAN THEY DO THIS/

Response from Ms. Douaihy

Dear Writer,

No, they can absolutely not do this. The fast food chain employing your son is governed by federal and state anti-discrimination law which prevents exactly this kind of prejudicial treatment. HIV positive status qualifies employees for protection under disability discrimination laws. Your son's employer cannot take an adverse action against him just because of his status. Only if one's disabling condition affects his ability to perform essential job functions can an employer make an issue out of the disability, but he still cannot suspend him. He would have to offer a "Reasonable Accommodation," an adjustment to the job so he could keep working. Your story is especially alarming as you say the employer is a popular franchise and is trained on sanitation protocol applicable to all employees. Your son deserves an apology and is entitled to relief. He can file a complaint with the state Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or talk to a lawyer about bringing a lawsuit for damages/reinstatement in state or federal court. Good luck to you and your son.



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