People who are HIV+ or who have AIDS, are protected under federal law (The Americans with Disabilities Act ‘ADA’). Individuals are also protected under the New York State and New York City Law.
The law defines a disability as:
“a physical, mental or medical impairment which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted diagnostic techniques, or
a record such an impairment, or
a condition regarded by others as such an impairment.”
The ADA requires that the disability substantially impair a major life activity. However, under NYS law, the disability must only be detectable by a medical test or impair one of your normal bodily functions. Since NYS also covers a number of disabilities that may be temporary, it also gives a broader meaning to what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation.” Thus, if an employee if effected by a disability such as HIV, the employer must provide a higher level of care in order to meet the accommodations of an employee. These accommodations not only apply in employment situations but can also apply in housing situations and places of public accommodations (a doctor’s office).
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your HIV status, you should contact us immediately so that we can take appropriate actions on your behalf. This may include but is not limited to filing a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Rights, a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); or a federal or state court. Depending on the facts of your case, our experienced attorneys can guide you on the right course of action so that your rights are protected. Contact us today for a free consultation.