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Employer Discriminated Against Worker Based on HIV+ Status

Date First Published on OHS Insider: May 14th, 2012
Topics: Disabilities | Discipline | Discrimination |

While a worker was out on medical leave, his employer learned from a co-worker that he was HIV positive. When he told the employer he was ready to return to work, it claimed there was no work available. He filed a disability discrimination claim. The Human Rights Tribunal noted that the employer had considered the worker to be an outstanding worker. It was only after learning he was HIV positive that it suddenly had no work available for him. In fact, this time was particularly busy for the company as it had just gotten its largest project. Thus, the Tribunal ruled that the worker’s disability was a factor—if not the only reason—for the employer’s failure to let him return to work. It ordered the employer to pay him $20,000 in damages plus almost $7,000 in lost wages [Malin v. Ultra Care Cleaning Systems Ltd., [2012] BCHRT 158 (CanLII), May 9, 2012].