South Africa: Ruling Sets Precedent on HIV Testing by Firms
January 24, 2003
The Cape Town Labor Court recently handed down a judgment clarifying the legalities of voluntary HIV/AIDS testing in the workplace. The ruling signals to firms that they can go ahead with voluntary testing programs without first having to obtain the court's permission, a question that had divided the legal establishment. Many companies conduct anonymous voluntary HIV testing to determine its prevalence, for planning purposes. The number of companies doing so is likely to grow, driven in part by regulations the Johannesburg Securities Exchange-South Africa is expected to introduce shortly, requiring listed firms to detail their HIV risk management in annual financial reports. Acting Judge Owen Rogers ruled that fishing company I&J's application to offer voluntary testing in the workplace did not fall under the Labor Equity Act concerning workplace discrimination. Rogers said LEA prohibited only HIV testing that was compulsory and intended to discriminate against employees. Mark Heywood, spokesperson for the AIDS Law Project and a Treatment Action Campaign official, welcomed the judgment.Adapted from:
Business Day (South Africa)
01.20.03; Tamar Kahn
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.