Workplace Protections for People Living with HIV

For information on Workplace Protections during COVID-19, please click HERE


Disclaimer- The content here on this website is informational only and is not an exhaustive review of employment law issues nor is it intended to be legal advice. The intent is to provide you with general information to better understand your situation and the tools available to take action if needed. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for your convenience; we do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to your particular legal matter. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and LACBA Counsel for Justice, its employees or volunteers.

THE CONTENT FOUND HERE WAS CURRENT AT THE TIME OF WRITING (January 2021). LAWS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES ARE SUBJECT TO FREQUENT CHANGE AND DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS. YOU SHOULD SEEK THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SITUATION


Workplace Protections-image 1 HIV is a qualified disability under anti-discrimination laws. People living with HIV (PLWH), regardless of symptoms, have many legal protections against discrimination or unfair treatment. These protections fall under both state and federal laws in almost all workplaces (the US military is one exception) and include the pre-employment process as well as during employment itself.

In addition, there are protections to help you if you need adjustments at work to help you stay employed, referred to as a reasonable accommodation, or if you need to take time off because of illness.

 

Intersectionality - Race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity

HIV disproportionately affects communities of color, men who have sex with men, transgender women, and cisgender women of color. These identities can complicate your experience with discrimination or disparate treatment in the workplace. Therefore, it is important to remember that anti-discrimination laws that protect your rights as a person living with HIV also cover certain “protected classes,” including your race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Workplace Protections-image 2

Examples of discrimination against employees living with HIV that are prohibited by law

Employers CANNOT discriminate against a person because:

  • they have HIV
  • are regarded as having HIV (even though they do not)
  • or are associated with someone who has HIV

Examples of possible forms of discrimination include:

  • firing an employee
  • segregating an employee
  • forcing an employee to take leave
  • forcing an employee to accept an accommodation
  • rejecting a candidate for a job or failing to promote an employee because they have HIV or because they associate with someone who has HIV.

Undocumented Immigrants – Also Protected

Immigrant communities throughout Los Angeles continue to be impacted by HIV including many residents who are undocumented or do not have a work permit.

The good news is, regardless of immigration status, immigrant workers are generally covered under the same California labor laws and discrimination protections as any other employee which means you can also come forward with complaints about workplace discrimination or violations of the labor code. Under these laws, you have:

  • Wage and hour rights
  • A right to workers’ compensation
  • A right to State Disability Insurance
  • A right to paid family leave
  • A right to unionize or participate in a union (However, your immigration status may limit the legal remedies available to you)

You are also covered by anti-discrimination laws.

For more information -
https://legalaidatwork.org/factsheet/undocumented-workers-employment-rights/


THE CONTENT HERE WAS CURRENT AT THE TIME OF WRITING (January 2021) AND IS INFORMATIONAL ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD SEEK THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SITUATION.


Navigating Employment Including Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Medical Leave of Absence

Employee Rights to Employment File

Laws That Protect Employees Living with HIV & Complaint Process
I Believe My Rights Have Been Violated. What Can I Do Next?

Things to Consider After an Employment Separation
Maintaining Employee Benefits

Occupational Training and State Licensing