Living with a chronic health condition can be especially difficult to manage if you have concerns that your employer may discriminate against you due to your illness. However, with the appropriate information, you can better understand your protections under the law and fight for your rights.
Your legal rights
Under U.S. employment law outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against someone they believe has HIV. Moreover, it requires that if employers know of an employee’s HIV status, they must keep the information confidential. The law also provides protection to concerned employees that their HIV status may prevent them from being able to continue in their position or take on a new position by another employer.
Another added benefit of the law is that employers are required to make reasonable accommodations if an employee makes a request. These accommodations can include items such as more or longer breaks, additional time off or the arrangement of an alternate work schedule.
When and how to seek help
If you believe that you are being singled out due to your HIV status, know that you have rights. You may way to seek advice from an attorney who better understands employment law. You can also reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with your grievance. The legal requirements are that you can file a charge against an employer up to 180 days after the discriminatory incident.
Knowing more about your rights is paramount to helping you feel empowered and find assistance with getting help for your case. When you have more information, you are in a better position to work toward maintaining your employment.