What are my rights as far as my employment is concerned ifI have been diagnosed with HIV?

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What are my rights as far as my employment is concerned ifI have been diagnosed with HIV?

I was diagnosed with a blood born virus and I will be having a lot of doctor appointments in the coming weeks and was wondering how to tell them? I work in a bar. I need to let my work know that in the coming weeks I will be having to miss work for doctors. I am worried that they might take action against my employment and looking for advice on what to do, how to tell them, and my rights.

Asked on August 3, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with an employment attorney--this is not a straightforward situation. An employer is not allowed to discriminate against someone with a disability, and I believe that for  this purpose, certain chronic conditions or diseases will be considered a disease. On the other hand, employers, while not discriminating, are not required to employ people in capacities which they cannot do because of their condition, or which could endanger themselves or others, or which could cost the business too much. Depending on your exact job, it's not clear a bar--a place of public entertainment, where people eat and drink--would have to or even necessarily could employ people with certain diseases. They'd run the risk of losing too much business (fairly or not) if word got out, and could run a significant liability risk of someone getting infected (obviously, depending on the disease or virus). That is why you need to consult with an employement attorney who can evaluate your situation in depth and render you legal advice.


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