This Policy on AIDS sets forth a company's policy and procedures for interacting with
employees who have been diagnosed with AIDS or are suspected of having AIDS. The
purpose of the policy is to reduce unrealistic fears about contracting the virus, protect
legal rights of employees with AIDS, and provide guidelines for situations where
infection of the virus is suspected. It is important to educate a company's employees on
AIDS-related issues to maintain a healthy work environment. This is a standard policy
that may be customized to reflect the specific policy of a company. It should be used by
any company's human resources department and included in the employee handbook.
Policy on Aids
The following outlines (name of Company)â€™s policy and procedures for interacting
with employees who have been medically diagnosed with or who are suspected of
having the AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) virus.
The purpose of the AIDS policy is to reassure employees that AIDS is not spread
through casual contact during normal work practices and to reduce unrealistic fears
about contracting an AIDS virus-related condition. This policy also protects the legal
right to work of employees who are diagnosed with an AIDS virus-related condition and
provides guidelines for situations where infection with the AIDS virus is suspected. Our
policy is to encourage sensitivity to and understanding for employees affected with a
condition of the AIDS virus.
3. General Policy
We are committed to maintaining a healthy work environment by protecting the
physical and emotional health and well-being of all employees in the workplace. We
also have a continuing commitment to provide employment for people with physical
disabilities who are able to work. This AIDS policy is a direct outgrowth of those
commitments. It provides guidelines for situations when a question as to an AIDS virus-
related condition arises. There are three major points:\
A. Employees who are diagnosed with an AIDS virus-related condition may
continue to work if they are deemed medically able to work and can meet
acceptable performance standards. We will provide reasonable performance
standards and reasonable accommodation if necessary to enable these
employees to continue working.
B. We provide AIDS education for all employees to help them understand
how the AIDS virus is spread and to reduce unrealistic fears of contracting an
AIDS virus-related condition.
C. The term â€œAIDS virus-related conditionsâ€ refers to the following four
medically diagnosed conditions:
1. Presence of the AIDS antibody without symptoms of AIDS;
2. Presence of an AIDS-Related Complex (ARC)
4. Central nervous system infection
4. Medical Overview
A. Medical experts on AIDS virus-related conditions have informed us that
there is no known risk of AIDS transmission between an affected employee and
other employees through either casual or close contact that occurs during normal
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B. An AIDS virus-related condition is not transmitted by breathing the same
air, using the same lavatories, touching a common piece of paper, or using the
same telephone. Transmission of the virus through oral secretions or tears is not
a recognized risk according to medical authorities. Additionally, the virus is very
fragile and has been found to be transmitted only through intimate exchange of
bodily fluids (for example, blood or blood-contaminated tissue fluids such as
semen or vaginal fluid).
C. The AIDS virus attacks the immune system, causing a breakdown in a
personâ€™s normal protection against infection. This leaves the body vulnerable to
life-threatening illnesses. In addition, the virus by itself can affect the nervous
D. Individuals of all sexual preferences are at risk of contracting an AIDS
virus-related condition. According to medical experts, the AIDS virus is
transmitted in the following ways: sexual contact through transmission of semen
or vaginal fluids; intravenous drug administration with contaminated needles;
administration of contaminated blood or blood products; and passage of the virus
from infected mothers to their fetus or newborn. However, there is no evidence to
suggest that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to any AIDS virus-
related illness or condition. Recent medical evidence suggests that an AIDS
virus-related condition can have an incubation period of several weeks, months
or years before symptoms appear. Medical findings indicate that a person who
has a positive antibody test will not necessarily develop an AIDS virus-related
condition. The presence of the AIDS antibody is a sign of infection, not immunity,
E. As is true for any person with a life-threatening illness, a person
diagnosed with an AIDS virus-related condition deserves and requires
compassion and understanding. While that person is attempting to cope with his
or her own vulnerability and fears, the support and understanding of friends and
colleagues can be particularly valuable.
F. Some people have fears about contracting AIDS based on misinformation
or lack of knowledge about how AIDS is spread. Education providing accurate
medical information can best alleviate fears of contracting an AIDS condition.
5. Supervisorâ€™s Responsibilities
The physical and emotional health and well-being of all employees must be
protected, and reasonable accommodation for the medically impaired employee with an
AIDS virus-related condition must be provided, as long as the employee is able to meet
acceptable performance standards. To ensure these goals are met, the following
guidelines are to be followed:
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A. Any employee diagnosed with an AIDS condition is entitled, as is any
other employee, to confidentiality of their medical condition and medical records.
B. If an employee with an AIDS condition requests job accommodation for
his/her medical condition, the employee must obtain a written medical opinion
that he/she (a) is medically able to work and (b) needs reasonable job
accommodation in order to maintain employment.
C. If it is deemed medically necessary, based upon current physical
impairment, (name of Company) and the employeeâ€™s supervisor will work to bring
about any reasonable job modification or job transfer of the employee with a
diagnosed condition of AIDS.
D. If a healthy employee refuses to work with an employee who is diagnosed
with an AIDS condition and is medically approved as able to work, job transfer or
other work accommodation for the healthy employee will only occur when
medically indicated by written order of his/her physician. The medical order must
be a signed medical statement requesting this job change. In the absence of a
medical order, normal transfer procedures will be followed.
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