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Author Topic: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?  (Read 3200 times)

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Offline UK_SL

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SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« on: January 10, 2010, 05:05:33 PM »
Well I was diagnosed nearly 4 months ago now, due to starting with really poor results and having flu, chest infection and HPV warts all up my neck and face and just generally really run down and fatigued, I was originally signed off work for 2 weeks and due to side affects from the meds I needed a futher 2 months.

It's a long story but I've been having an issue with my employers, they have been pestering me to disclose my illness to them for the safety of their customers and other employees. I agreed to have my GP send them a report of my status and a general report on my health and what "reasonable adjustments" they can make for me - anyways they received my doctor's report last week and after nearly 2 weeks I have received a letter saying that they cannot continue my employment as I am a health risk to other staff members.

I know they are breaking the law but my question is, what next step should I take?

05/10/2009 ~ DIAGNOSED, CD4 = 8
22/10/2009 ~ CD4 = 11/VL = 430,000, STARTED ATRIPLA and SEPTRIN
26/11/2009 ~ CD4 = 121/VL = 840
22/12/2009 ~ CD4 = 184 (6%)/VL = 340
11/03/2010 ~ CD4 = 177 (12%)/VL = 72
01/07/2010 ~ CD4 = 247 (12%) VL = 76
20/01/2011 ~ CD4 = 350 / VL = 29

Offline BT65

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 05:28:40 PM »
Talk to a lawyer.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 05:35:41 PM »
What I don't get is the ignorance, don't they realize they can be sued and that what they are doing is against the law? I'm assuming it's against the law in the UK, it certainly is in the US. And you actually have it in writing that they are letting you go because they think you pose a risk to the customers! It's not like they even tried to think of some excuse or blame it on your performance. Unless you are actually exchanging bodily fluids with the customers, it's absurd.

In the US the next step is, as has already been mentioned, to contact an attorney. If you can't afford one you should be able to find one through an ASO or some other civil liberties group. Make sure it's an attorney that has dealt with this kind of thing in the past.

And keep records of everything they send you in writing or recorded on the phone if you can (like voice mail messages, it might be illegal to actually record phone conversations, not sure about that).

I would not talk to them at all or make any contact at all until you have talked to an attorney, you might say something incriminating without realizing it.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 06:14:00 PM »
Hey, at least they sent you a letter spelling out exactly how bigoted they are -- should be useful in the legal phase.  Consider that one a blessing.  They could have just made up some reason about you being completely incompetent and you'd not be able to say much.  Locate whatever the UK equivalent of AIDS service organizations are and find one that can give a legal reference.  You may be able to find an entity that does pro bono work with this issue.

Keep us posted.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline newt

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 06:32:26 PM »
Call THT Direct and also tell National AIDS Trust

Then you sue the pants off them.

They have broken the law.

While it won't get you your job back it might get you some compensation (in due course) and will ensure you have access to benefits in the short term.

Seriously, take it up with THT, just call THT Direct or email them. They may be able to take the case up on your behalf and find you a solicitor to do the legal work for free.

www.tht.org.uk

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline john33

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 06:42:59 PM »
UK

They broke the law and what's more you have it in writing!!

Go for it, stand up for your rights, you have them, and sue them into the next life

John

Offline mecch

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 06:54:24 PM »
They put that in writing? You pose a health risk? Gezuz
What sort of business/job was that, by the way. If you care to say.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 07:10:10 PM »
A health risk to other staff members?  Unless you as a bareback porn actor, I think you have a case!


Offline Ann

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 09:45:19 PM »
SL,

Do what Matt said. You are protected under UK law and please, exercise that law to its fullest extent.

Good luck - please keep us posted.

Ammm
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline tednlou2

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 12:04:24 AM »
You can't let them get away with this.  Wasn't the movie, Philadelphia based on this exact thing?  I'm really shocked that they didn't make up some other excuse to get rid of you.  Most employers would make up something. 

It may take a lot of energy to fight this, but you can't let them get away with this if at all possible.

Keep us posted and good luck. 

Offline UK_SL

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 05:02:51 AM »
They put that in writing? You pose a health risk? Gezuz
What sort of business/job was that, by the way. If you care to say.


The work is a local bakery chain of of 5 shops, I work in the main shop behind the counter serving customers etc....
05/10/2009 ~ DIAGNOSED, CD4 = 8
22/10/2009 ~ CD4 = 11/VL = 430,000, STARTED ATRIPLA and SEPTRIN
26/11/2009 ~ CD4 = 121/VL = 840
22/12/2009 ~ CD4 = 184 (6%)/VL = 340
11/03/2010 ~ CD4 = 177 (12%)/VL = 72
01/07/2010 ~ CD4 = 247 (12%) VL = 76
20/01/2011 ~ CD4 = 350 / VL = 29

Offline Ann

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2010, 05:08:45 AM »
And how do they figure you're a risk to other employees? The level of ignorance is staggering. Here's hoping you get a huge payout. And here's hoping they end up educated and hang their heads in shame over what they've done. Assholes.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline leese43

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2010, 05:24:48 AM »
So sorry to hear this, I cannot believe the ignorance of some people. Like Newt and Anne said, call THT they will put you in touch with a law firm and I'm sure you will be entitled to legal aid. Although it's small comfort because you have lost your job, they have done you a huge favour by putting that in writing. It can only be an open and shut case...what a bunch of w*nkers!
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline mecch

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2010, 08:29:16 AM »
Ditto Ann. It seems to be fear, based on ignorance, or rather stupidity.  Whats more, the manager is definitely stupid if he/she actually put that in writing.
You know, just wondering however, if you like(d) your job and your colleagues before this.
You might get a lawyer to arbitrate - if you want your job, you might get it back and educate them and get damages.  I mean if that would be good for you.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline mpositive

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2010, 08:31:13 AM »
Is it a law in the UK that your employer has the right to know exactly what your illness is?  Either way, I hope you take them apart!

Offline leese43

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2010, 09:21:20 AM »
Is it a law in the UK that your employer has the right to know exactly what your illness is?  Either way, I hope you take them apart!
No
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline Ann

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2010, 09:57:49 AM »
The more I think about this, the madder I get.

Here are some links you may find useful:

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) All hiv positive people are protected under this act from the point of diagnosis.

Tribunal Action These guys operate a free help-line and also have a free online assessment page.

DDA info at THT

Positive Futures The UKC's website dealing with hiv in the workplace.

Equality and Human Rights Commission You may want/need to get these people involved.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Ann
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 10:17:52 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 10:00:50 AM »
Oh, and if you're case is clear cut as it seems aside from all the legal stuff make sure you milk the press for all its worth. 
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline newt

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 05:11:07 PM »
Pesonally, my thoughts on the UK, press, no, no, no, esp local press, for one it prejudices your employment tribunal case fatally if you speak beforehand and possibly your personal saftey and dignity/reputation after, fair to say the UK press do not really get disability, let alone HIV. If you wish to make a point when all is said and done (and hopefully you have won your case) do it through the THT/NAT press office.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 05:15:02 PM »
Outrageous state of affairs and the Newt makes good sense (as always) about avoiding the reptiles of Fleet Street.

Here's hoping your former employer ends up purchasing you a yacht or perhaps an extensive pastoral holding in Scotland.

MtD

Offline karry

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2010, 05:22:58 PM »
This got me livid....I apologise for the language, but ...sue their asses!
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline spock

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2010, 11:56:42 AM »
I am happy you have received such a supportive response from everyone here, as well as excellent advice, but I know there is that other hurt that has to be bothering you. Just remember you have a community of friends around the world thinking about and supporting you!

Offline tbrunsster

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2010, 03:37:12 PM »
There is an organization called ABC (AIDS Benefitss Counselors) based in San Francisco who are a group of lawyers donating their time to help PWAs with legal matters etc. Give them a call!! They got me my full benefits when I had to go on disability for a while. But I am sure they can give you some great legal advice if not take on the case themselves!!

Offline Ann

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2010, 04:27:03 PM »
There is an organization called ABC (AIDS Benefitss Counselors) based in San Francisco who are a group of lawyers donating their time to help PWAs with legal matters etc. Give them a call!! They got me my full benefits when I had to go on disability for a while. But I am sure they can give you some great legal advice if not take on the case themselves!!

The original poster is in the UK, not the States. An outfit in San Fran won't know UK law.

How's it going, SL? Any developments?

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline pointer165

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Re: SACKED FOR HAVING HIV - WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2010, 01:28:52 AM »
ABC:: from their sit::;We provide consultations to San Francisco residents regarding overpayments, medical leaves, State Disability Insurance (SDI), Medi-Cal programs, Medi-Cal/HIPP, ADAP, Medicare, HIPAA, Cal-COBRA, COBRA and OBRA, and general questions around public and private disability income and health insurance benefits, including changes in laws and regulations that may affect eligibility and access to these benefits. We address issues surrounding returning to work in our monthly workshops on how earned income impacts disability income and health insurance, and provide consultations after people have attended the workshop.

But I am going to call tomorrow cause I need a lawyer,being harassed for almost 3 years by my upstairs neighbor...and pro bono in NYC is NOT the words they want to hear...so maybe they can give me a referral...GMHC here is SO hard to get through to them...are they still there??

SO SORRY to hear about your story & that this is still happening in this world!...but if it's a law in the UK to ask you illness??

Cheers..
Tony(nyc)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 01:34:28 AM by pointer165 »
Guamanian

 


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