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Infectious diseases discrimination - Conciliations 




No policy on Hepatitis C

A woman applied for employment with a government agency, in a position where medical testing was required. She had the required tests and in the process she tested positive for hepatitis C, which she had apparently contracted from a blood transfusion 20 years earlier.

The woman supplied the testing information to the employer and they allowed her to begin training for the position while further tests were done. When this revealed that she was infectious, the employer refused to admit her to the next stage of training on the grounds that she would be unable to fulfil the full range of duties required of the position.

The woman complained that the employer should have had a policy on Hepatitis C and told her in the beginning that she would not be eligible. She would then have avoided getting her hopes up, spending several months in training and paying for further medical tests. The employer said that they were not prepared to change their decision. The matter was resolved when the employer agreed to assist the woman to find a position in a related area where her medical condition would not be an issue.

HIV positive man retrenched

A man worked as a book editor in a publishing house. He disclosed to his employer that he was HIV positive and that he sometimes need to take sick leave if he was unwell or needed treatment. He said that the employer initially reacted well, but began to ask questions about his health that he felt were overly intrusive.

Eventually he was retrenched and lodged a complaint of HIV/AIDS discrimination when he found an ad for a job which he regarded as similar to the one he had been doing. The employer said they had not offered this new job to the man because it paid less and they didn’t think he would want it. The matter was resolved when the employer agreed to pay the man $6,000.

Supervisor told other employees

A man complained that he was forced to resign from his job after he told a supervisor about his hepatitis C status. The supervisor told all the other employees, and he had to have a blood test. Following conciliation, he received financial compensation for lost wages and hurt and humiliation, and the organisation agreed to change its work policies and practices.

"Upsetting other staff"

A cook in a canteen, suspected of being homosexual and of having AIDS, was asked to leave the workplace because his presence was 'upsetting other staff'. In conciliation, the employer agreed to give him his job back, and to run workplace education of employees about the transmission of HIV and AIDS, and HIV and AIDS-related discrimination.

Goods and services

Man with HIV segregated at dental clinic

A man with HIV complained that he received segregated treatment at a dental clinic. The complaint was settled when the clinic agreed to review their policy by setting up a working party to look at dental treatment of people with HIV.

Refused treatment at private hospital

A man complained to the Board that he had been refused surgery at a private hospital when they found out that he was HIV positive. The hospital claimed that their facilities weren't equipped to cope with someone with HIV. The complaint was settled when the hospital paid the man compensation, gave him a written apology and agreed to change their policy so that the problem would not happen again.