AIDS and Disease laws & HR compliance analysis

AIDS and Disease: What you need to know

Most of the existing federal protections for employees with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and other disabilities can be found in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additional protections are provided by the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Employers should be fully aware of the requirements of these laws and of any additional requirements that may be imposed by state law.
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The ADA covers state and local governments and private employers with 15 or more employees. It prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified applicants or employees on the basis of disability. A "disability" is defined as:
• A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• A record of such an impairment
• Being regarded as having an impairment
Under the ADA, an individual is "regarded as" having a disability if he or she is subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g., demotion or firing) because of an actual or perceived impairment. The impairment does not have to substantially limit a major life activity to meet the definition of a regarded as disability. For example, if an employer refuses to promote an employee because the employer thinks the employee has AIDS, the employee will have a regarded as disability claim under the ADA.
According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations, when an individualized assessment is done to determine if an individual has a covered disability, certain impairments, due to their inherent nature, ...

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