Do you live in San Francisco and have been discriminated against because you have HIV/AIDS? Have you been fired because you have HIV/AIDS? Have you been denied certain opportunities because of your HIV/AIDS? Have you been fired for taking time off because of your HIV/AIDS? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have means to file charges against your employer. It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because of your diagnosis. Our San Francisco HIV/AIDS discrimination attorney want to help you fight for the rights you deserve. Our lawyers will work their hardest to gain you the most compensation possible.
Is HIV/AIDS a disability under the ADA?
HIV/AIDS is a virus that attack’s a person’s immune system, making it hard for them to fight off infections. There are less than 200,000 cases of HIV/AIDS per year in the United States and the virus is spread through infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. It is a chronic condition that lasts someone’s lifetime and cannot be cured. However, anti-retroviral therapy can prolong life and significantly slow down the progress of the disease.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability in all public areas of life. Title I of the act specifically focuses on employment discrimination and is overseen by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC describes different forms of employment discrimination in regard to:
- Job application procedures
- Hiring, advancement, or discharge
- Employee compensation
- Job training
- Other terms and conditions, and privileges of employment
The ADA also classifies a disability as a mental or physical impairment that limits one’s ability to perform one or more major life activities. There are two types of major life activities: general activities and bodily functions. General activities can be seen as eating, sleeping, learning, walking, lifting, and so on, while bodily functions are the functions of different systems in our body like the respiratory system, cell growth, digestive system, and any other internal bodily functions. Since HIV/AIDS is a disease that attacks the immune system, it is considered a disability under the ADA. If you are a San Francisco employee and have been discriminated against because of your HIV/AIDS diagnosis, you need to get in contact with one of our HIV/AIDS discrimination lawyers so you can get started on suing your employer.
Can I get reasonable accommodations for having HIV/AIDS?
Since HIV/AIDS qualifies as a disability under the ADA, then your employer may be obligated to provide you with a reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations are changes or modifications in the job or work environment that allow for equal employment opportunities for those that are disabled. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a state anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination in employment and housing against anyone that identifies under a protected category. Included in the list of protected categories is a mental or physical disability. Like the ADA, California law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities that request them. Some examples of reasonable accommodations are:
- Changing job duties
- Providing leave for medical care
- Changing work schedules
- Relocating the work area
- Providing mechanical or electrical aid
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This is not an exhaustive list, and reasonable accommodations should be determined on a case-by-case basis. In California, an employer must engage in an interactive process once an employee has requested a reasonable accommodation. This process involves looking at the job and the employee’s impairment in relation to the reasonable accommodation requested. It is unlawful for an employer to not engage in an interactive practice in good faith and in a timely manner. If your employer has denied you your rights under these laws, or has refused to engage in an interactive process, you may want to speak with one of our HIV/AIDS discrimination lawyers in San Francisco to see how you can gain compensation for their unlawful behavior.
Can I get fired for taking time off for my HIV/AIDS
If you are HIV/AIDS positive, you may suffer from fatigue, fevers, light headedness, and so much more. These symptoms may infringe on your ability to do your job. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows for you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address your medical condition. The FMLA and CFRA both permit for job-secured leave to be taken by employees who work at a company with 50 or more employees, have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, and live within a 75-mile radius from the job site. The reasons specified for taking FMLA and CFRA leave are:
- For childbirth, adoption, or placing a child in foster care
- To take care of a family member with a serious medical condition
- To take care of your own serious medical condition
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for exercising your rights under these laws. If you have been fired for taking FMLA or CFRA leave, you have been wrongfully terminated and need to seek help from one of our lawyers immediately. These leaves also guarantee your job when you return. If you have taken your leave but were not given your job back, you need to get in contact with one of our San Francisco attorneys to make sure you receive your job and compensation for any of your other losses.
Can I receive disability benefits for having HIV/AIDS?
California supplies State Disability Insurance (SDI) for those with a temporary disability that prevents them from being able to do their job. If your HIV/AIDS diagnosis has affected you to the point that you cannot perform your normal job functions, you may be able to receive SDI. Approximately 18.7 million Californian workers are covered by SDI, and you could be one of them. Through the SDI program you may be qualified to receive partial wage replacement for up to 52 weeks or until you are able to work again. If your HIV/AIDS is advanced you are unable to work for a longer period of time, then you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, which is for those that have a disability that lasts longer than 12 months or is life-long. If you have more questions regarding the possible benefits you can receive, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our lawyers in San Francisco who will be able to answer all your questions.
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Being discriminated against because of your HIV/AIDS diagnosis is hurtful and downright illegal. Do not let employers get away with mistreating you this way. Your HIV/AIDS does not have to define you as a worker. Instead, your hard work, merits, and qualifications should be what is focused on at your job. Don’t let your employer use your disability against you. Begin by getting touch with one of our San Francisco HIV/AIDS discrimination attorneys and scheduling a free consultation. You will be able to discuss your case with one of our top San Francisco attorneys and be given the best legal advice to make sure you receive maximum recovery. Our zero fee guarantee also means that we do not ask for any upfront fees when we take on your case. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything. Also, if have already spoken with an attorney, you can schedule a free second opinion with us. Do not miss out on this opportunity to be represented by one of the top-rated lawyers in San Francisco.