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AIDS at workplace
Jul 21, 2003

Hi there, my questions as below: 1. In a company, the first case of AIDS was brought to the attention of the manager by the employee himself.The second case was more difficult to deal with. A regular customer, who is a nurse came up to the manager and said one of his employee is being treated with AIDS. Who are the stakeholders of this company?

2. What are the political,technological and economic trends that will effect the Manager's decision?

3. What is the manager's responsibilities towards his employees? His customers? Employee with AIDS and employee accused of having AIDS?

4. What would you and i do if we are the manager?

Response from Ms. Breuer

You mean, after you yank out the nurse's tongue?

1. What country are you writing from? If it is not the U.S., please understand that I am describing how the situation should be handled according to U.S. law and best practices. You would have good reasons to follow this standard in any country.

2. What difference would it make if you knew or did not know of an employee's HIV status? An HIV-positive employee does not put others at risk unless that employee is a surgeon. Your responsibilities to employees do not change in this situation. Respect privacy, evaluate performance, refuse to allow irrational fear to run the company.

3. The trends that affect the manager's decisions are trends in education: what we know about HIV. What we know tells us that the manager's job has not changed. Every employee needs to be evaluated based on performance, not a diagnosis or, worse, a rumor of a diagnosis.

4. If the nurse has in fact disclosed a patient's HIV status without that person's permission, the nurse is WAY out of line, violating the patient's rights. The nurse should be reprimanded at least. In the U.S., the patient would have grounds for legal action against the nurse. The nurse is not protecting anyone.

5. The manager's responsibility to co-workers and customers is to provide HIV education at work so that people understand that they are not at risk from someone with HIV unless they are having sex or sharing needles with the person, activities that rarely appear in a job description.

Please write to me again to tell me where you are and, if you can, more about what is happening. People's lives can be ruined by this kind of behavior, and there is no excuse for that in 2003.



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