Suspended HIV-Positive Employer Headed to Arbitration with Former Employer
A man who is HIV-positive filed for labor arbitration after being suspended by his employer. Twenty-seven year old Ming, a man working for a quasi-governmental organization in Guangzhou states he hopes the arbitration will lead to his ability to return to work. He says he does not want his colleagues to know he is HIV-positive, so is going only by his nickname and has not disclosed the name of his employer to media outlets.
Ming began his employment with the company in 2012 and was invited to participate in a civil servant recruitment exam organized by the company in 2015. He passed the interview and written exam, but failed the physical exam this past fall.
He states he was hopeless and terrified. Just two months after the exam, Ming was told he must take indefinite leave, which he says was justified through the country’s Measures for Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases. The policy states that AIDS and HIV carriers must be treated in isolation.
Causing further concern, Ming says his contract with his employer is due to expire in August, and he is worried it will not be renewed and he will not be able to find work within any state-owned company in the future.
Ming’s attorney states he believes this is a case of employment discrimination and that the laws used to justify the leave are no longer in effect. The country adopted a revised law in 2004 and no longer stipulates AIDS and HIV carriers be isolated. Further regulations were adopted in 2006, stating no entity or individual can discriminate against HIV or AIDS carriers, and in 2008, an additional policy states that no employer can refuse to recruit or hire anyone based on whether they carry an infectious disease.