HIV testing in the workplace
Jul 10, 2003
Hello, A friend has just been interviewed by a large Multi National Company, when he took his medical examination they took a blood sample which will be tested for the HIV virus, is this legal? and what are the implications if he was tested positive Kind regards
Response from Ms. Breuer
Is your friend assuming that it will be tested for HIV, or did he sign a consent form for it to be tested for HIV? (testing without written consent normally is not legal) Does the job require extensive international travel? Working abroad? If not, this is way out of line. A blood test implies that this is a pre-employment physical, done after a job offer has been made. Is that the case here? If so, and if the job is in the US and does not require working abroad or international travel, then if the job offer is withdrawn, he should insist on having the reason in writing. A positive test should not change the job offer; it amounts to discrimination against a person with a disability. Whether and how much he wants to pursue this is up to him. If he is ever asked again as an applicant to submit to an HIV test, encourage him to ask why. To ask a zillion questions. To offer documentation from his physician that he is fit to do the job and fulfill all its essential functions. To quote the slogan of the ACLU, "because freedom cannot protect itself." His privacy rights are being violated, it seems to me.
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