AIDS employment discrimination can include unfair treatment of an individual with AIDS or HIV involving:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Job interviews and job application procedures
  • Training and promotions

Do People with AIDS and HIV Have Legal Protection against Discrimination?

People with AIDS and HIV are protected against discrimination nationwide by both state and federal laws. Although the state protections vary, the federal laws protect people everywhere in the country. The major federal laws that protect persons with HIV and AIDS are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws (EEOP). People with AIDS and HIV are protected by the ADA and EEOP even if they are not presently sick.

What Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Guarantee People with AIDS and HIV?

The ADA guarantees equal rights and opportunities to all people with disabilities, including AIDS and HIV. These equal opportunities include:

  • Employment
  • Transportation
  • State and local government services
  • Public accommodations and restaurants

What Employers Do the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws (EEOP) Cover?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Laws cover all of the following employers that employ at least 15 people:

  • State and local government employers
  • Private employers
  • Educational institutions
  • Labor organizations

Can Having AIDS or HIV Prevent Me from Being Hired at a New Job?

Having AIDS or HIV cannot prevent you from being hired. Employers must base their hiring decision on the candidate's abilities and skills at the time of application. Employers cannot decide against hiring qualified people because they have AIDS or HIV, or because they do not want to deal with higher medical insurance costs, absenteeism, or worker's compensation costs.

Can My Potential Employer Ask Me about My HIV Status?

Your potential employer cannot ask if you have HIV or require you to take a medical exam before making a job offer.

My Significant Other or Family Member Has AIDS or HIV, Do I Have Legal Protection against Discrimination towards Me Because of Her Illness?

Discrimination against the significant others and family members of people with AIDS and HIV is illegal. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects persons who are discriminated against because they have a close relationship with someone that has AIDS or HIV. Therefore the ADA will protect anyone who is denied a job or fired because their family member, significant other, or even roommate has HIV.

I Have Been Discriminated against, Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue My Claim?

Friends, families and people with AIDS and HIV deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Consulting with an employment lawyer or civil rights attorney will be of great benefit to you. Working with a lawyer will help you understand your legal rights as well as preserve any possible remedies you may have.