Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an immune system disorder that results in the destruction of important blood cells that are necessary to fight disease and infection. The virus continues to spread through the body, and can eventually lead to AIDS. Currently, no cure exists for the disease, but there are treatments that can slow down its progress. When first infected, one will usually experience flu-like symptoms. HIV is transmitted through contact of bodily fluids like blood, semen, or vaginal fluid, but aren’t usually a safety concern for the work environment. If you have been infected with HIV, this does not give your employer the right to discriminate against you. If you’ve faced any kind of negative repercussions at your job because of your diagnosis, then you must take legal action with the help of one of our HIV/AIDS discrimination attorneys. Stay strong by not letting your diagnosis tear down the rest of your life. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to provide support for you.
HIV/AIDS and the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits any kind of discrimination against a disability and requires equal opportunities for disabled citizens in all areas of public life. This includes work, school, transportation, and any area open to the general public. The ADA also obligates an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees as long as it does not cause undue hardship to the employer. Types of reasonable accommodation in the work place could be increasing accessibility, job restructuring, modifying a work schedule, and modifying equipment. It’s evident reasonable accommodations can come in many forms: physical, policy related, communications related, and so on.
A disability, according to the ADA, is defined as physical or mental impairment that prevents someone from being able to perform one or more major life activities. Major life activities include operation of bodily functions such as the immune system, cell growth, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, and many more. Individuals that are HIV-positive fall under this umbrella of physical disabilities and are therefore covered under the ADA. Symptomatic or asymptomatic, the law protects you from being demoted from your job on the basis of being HIV-positive. The law actually extends to protect those that are associated with anyone that has HIV and to those that may just be rumored to have HIV. The ADA also prohibits any and all discrimination in employment practices. So not only is it illegal to be demoted or fired because your HIV status, but it’s also illegal for your employer to discriminate in terms of job applications, job training, assignments, promotions, and wages and benefits.
HIV/AIDS and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act
While the ADA covers employees that work at companies with 15 or more employees, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a similar state law that covers those who work at companies with only 5 or more employees. The FEHA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against job applicants and employees because of a protected category. Protected categories, according to the law, include: race and color, ancestry or national origin, age (over 40), religion or creed, mental and physical disability, sex and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military or veteran status. HIV-positive is protected under the FEHA. It’s also important to know that the FEHA prohibits retaliation against anyone that has tried to assert their rights under this law, and any kind of harassment related to a protected category is also illegal.
The knowledgeable attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group are ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the information that you need to better understand the timeframes applicable to your claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
I Have Been Demoted by an Employer. Is this Legal?
As an HIV/AIDS positive employee, you are also entitled to unpaid leave. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) both allow for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to those who qualify. To be eligible to receive job protected leave under the FMLA, you must work at a company that employs 50 or more people who have worked at least 20 weeks for a total of 1,250 or more hours within the last year and live within a 75 mile radius of the job site. One of the qualifications for FMLA leave is if an employee cannot work because of a serious medical condition, If HIV/AIDS has rendered work difficult, you may able to enact your rights under the FMLA. Similarly, the CFRA is California’s State version of the law has the same requirements as the FMLA in order to cover and employee.
HIV/AIDS Discrimination Attorney in Los Angeles
If you’ve taken your legal amount of time off due to medical conditions related to HIV/AIDS and your employer fired or demoted you, then you have a case to sue your employer. These laws regard it as illegal for an employer to not reinstate an employee with the same or comparable job. If you lost your job for taking FMLA or CFRA leave then you were wrongfully terminated and need to seek help from one of our wrongful termination lawyers immediately. In fact, any kind of discrimination besides just firing or demoting is prohibited under these laws, and it is in your best interest to talk with one of our HIV/AID discrimination attorneys to see what steps you can take to address your illegal treatment.
Possible remedies for employment discrimination include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages pay the employer for their out-of-pocket expenses such as medical expenses, loss of job wages, and compensation for emotional stress. Punitive damages are awarded as punishment for an employer who has committed an especially malicious act of discrimination. However, limits do exist for much one can receive for compensatory and punitive damages and are based on the size of the company. Employers with 15-100 employees can be charged up to $50,000; employers with 101-200 employees $100,000; employers with 201-500 employees $200,000; and employers with 500 or more employees $300,000.
While we know we can’t take back what unjustness and misfortune you’ve already endured, our firms hopes we can help you at least fine some redemption through suing. Unlawful employers need to understand wrongful termination and discrimination because of an HIV status is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Even though money may not be an exact replacement for you loss, it’s a start, and our lawyers are determined to get you some sort of redemption.
Free Consultation and Zero Fee Guarantee
Don’t lose money, gain money from this experience. The limits for the type of compensation you may be eligible to obtain were mentioned before. So what is your discrimination or wrongful termination case wroth? We want you to receive the maximum payout, not lose your worth. This is why money is not a factor with us. We offer a free consultation to anyone that comes in to our office. So there is no risk to get advice from one of our skilled attorneys here at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group. There’s also no risk in pursuing a case. Our zero-fee guarantee ensures you will not have to pay anything to us unless we win your case, where we have a contingency fee. Our competent HIV discrimination attorneys will also give you a free second opinion so that you can decide who is best to handle you case. Call our offices or come in today to see that we are the right choice for you.