New EEOC Publications Detail Rights of HIV-Infected Applicants, Employees Under ADA

If knowledge is power, then individuals with HIV infection and their treating physicians should feel more empowered today as a consequence of two new publications released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC issued two documents addressing workplace rights for individuals with HIV infection ADA, including the right to be free from employment discrimination and harassment, and the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

Living With HIV Infection: Your Legal Rights in the Workplace Under the ADA explains that applicants and employees are protected from employment discrimination and harassment based on HIV infection, and that individuals with HIV infection have a right to reasonable accommodations at work. It also answers questions about the process for obtaining an accommodation; possible accommodations; the privacy rights of people who have HIV infection; the employer’s obligation to keep medical information confidential; and the role of EEOC in enforcing the rights of people with disabilities.

Helping Patients with HIV Infection Who Need Accommodations at Work explains to doctors that patients with HIV infection may be able to get reasonable accommodations that help them to stay productive and employed, and provides them with instructions on how to support requests for accommodation with medical documentation. It also answers questions about the types of accommodations that may be available; the ADA’s protections against employment discrimination based on having the condition or on the need for accommodation; the importance of disclosing the need for an accommodation before a problem occurs; and what to do when an employer raises safety concerns.

Here’s the EEOC’s announcement of the new publications.

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