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Spotlight Series: HIV Stigma and Discrimination

Family and Friends >> My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS

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Reged: 06/12/00
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Was terminated from Job/Reason?/because of HIV
      #5405 - 06/12/00 03:29 PM

Someone out there, please read this mess, and get back to me with what i am to do, please.
I live outside detroit, in Michigan. I have been married to my husband for almost 18 years, we have two teenagers. My husband was diagnosed with HIV in June of 1989. My husband recieves social security disability, and I work, well, i had a job, up until a few days ago.
I'm going to try and be as brief as i can but say enuff so you'll get all this mess going on.
I havent been at the job i'm at now for to long, but i went to work for this company because the pay was better. When i was hired in, my boss, asked me if the days she' wanted me to work were ok, i said yes, but wasnt sure of one day, and she said to go head give it a try and if i didnt care for it to let her no. Well, i hated it from the get go, but wanted to give it all a fair chance, so i stuck it out a good month and a half, and nothing changed, i still hated it, butjust this ONE day, not the entire thang. So, i called my boss and told her, i didnt like it, and reminded her she told me to tell her that if i didnt like it or had any problems to just tell her, and this i did, and what happend after this was totally unexpected.
Two months ago, when i began working for the company, i started off working with my boss's, mother, and when you first meet people, its the same ol thang, where ya live, or are ya married, kids, hobbies, that sort of thang, well her and i went thru the questions thing, and she asked me if i was married, i said yes, and she then asked what he did for a living, and i said he isnt working, and she asked why, and i said he's ill, and the look on her face was of concern and said,"whats wrong", well in that instant second i seriously consider'd lying, but if i lie this means i'm ashamed, and i'm not ashamed of my husband nor anything that he has wrong with him, so, i said my husband is ill because he has HIV, and her look was for a brief moment blah, but she said sorry, and asked how he got it, i said from tattoo's.
Well, a few days later, the same lady, when i was working with her again, said she told her daughter, my boss, about my husband, and her daughter, my boss, said for me NOT to tell anyone about my husband, and she didnt want it being discussed in this office, and if anyone asks about my husband i'm NOT to say anything. When i heard this, i was angry, but i didnt want to make waves, so i did just that. I didnt say anything more about it, TILL, the first time i had to work with the BOSS, and sure enuff about one hour into working with her, she said she didnt want me talking about my husbands HIV to anyone. Again i didnt want to make waves so i did as she said, but noticed since she found out my boss has made very rude remarks to me, and has made it very difficult for me to work giving me lots of stress.
It was brought to my attention, today, that another girl i work with, told me, that my job was terminated because my boss had went to one of the OWNERS SONS and said that my husband has AIDS and doesnt want me working there. I am out of a job, and i had made it clear to my boss, that i didnt have HIV, my husband did, and my friend at work, cant believe what has happend, and feels to it is wrong, and that the attitude and disrespect i've gotten from my boss, is because of my husbands HIV, and my boss has went to say as much to one of the owners son.
What do i do? isnt this illegal? isnt this discrimination?
Yes, i no some of you are probably thinken, well, hell with her and go get another job, but that isnt the point, I WANT THE JOB i applyed for, and this isnt fair, nor right. What if i was a register'd nurse, and i worked there part time, and i cared for the sick, would things be diffrent then? How does my husband having HIV, reflect on me typing on a computer at work, where i'm not in contact with anyone except my co worker's, who MAY hand me a sheet of paper, or use the same phone, etc I really liked my job, and now i dont know what to do... i dont want to tell my husband what happend, because it will make him feel bad.
Email me with suggestions please.

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New User

Reged: 06/11/00
Posts: 1
Loc: Idaho, USA
Re: Was terminated from Job/Reason?/because of HIV new
      #5438 - 06/12/00 06:28 PM

Life isn't fair! There's no way around that fact. Ignorance is the reason your boss was afraid for you to work there. You sound like you didn't like the job that well anyway, so go get another, better one. It takes a lot of energy to fight discrimination. I would prefer using my energy on something happier and more fulfilling. Good luck with whatever you do.

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Re: Was terminated from Job/Reason?/because of HIV new
      #5446 - 06/12/00 07:08 PM

Sound awful. What they did was illegal--call your local congressman or local assemplyman. Just try to make a little fuss. There is no way you can prove that's why you were fired. Anyway, work is not the place to share such information. People are CRAZY and if given the power they will act crazy! It's not that you should be ashamed. It's just no one's business. And it will take a while for people to understand that HIV is not transmitted casually.
Good luck !

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Re: Was terminated from Job/Reason?/because of HIV new
      #7669 - 07/26/00 05:10 PM

It is illegal to fire an employee becaouse of his or her HIV
status much less that if your husband has HIV. There is a federal law against discrimination at the work place for race, religion or medical problems. Contact a HIV service in your idea. The employee must rehire you and may also have to pay damages to you. Again it is illegal and a federal offense to discriminate against people with AIDS. Best wishes, Joe

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