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How does the ADA protect you when you have HIV or AIDS?

As someone who is employed in Florida and has either HIV or AIDS, you may have questions about your privacy and other rights as they relate to your condition and profession. The Americans with Disabilities Act is what outlines your privacy and other rights in the workplace as an American living with HIV or AIDS, so the more you understand about how it protects you, the more likely you will be to identify any instances of discrimination or harassment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you can expect a reasonable degree of privacy when it comes to your condition in your work environment, and, in most cases, you do not need to disclose the fact that you are HIV-positive, or that you have AIDS. There are, however, several circumstances under which your employer may lawfully inquire about your condition.

If, for example, you request that he or she make a reasonable accommodation on your behalf, your employer may be able to ask you personal questions about your condition. The same holds true if “objective evidence” exists to shows that you may be unable to perform your job because your condition may pose a risk to others, or if your situation meets several other specific conditions.

If your condition prevents you from performing certain duties, but your employer could reasonably make an accommodation to make things easier on you, you can request that he or she do so. Unless making the requested accommodation would result in considerable difficulty or expense for your employer, he or she must generally make every attempt to accommodate you. While these are some of the protections available to you as someone who has HIV or AIDS in the workplace, please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all protections that apply.

This copy is educational in nature and is not meant to serve as legal advice.

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