Understanding Policy

Many large and small businesses address HIV in their workplace policies and programs to promote good health — either directly or through general policies and initiatives. These programs can be also be cost-effective and can save businesses money. By educating yourself and your employees now, you can potentially reduce the financial impact, legal implications, work disruptions and other effects that HIV can have on a business when it is not prepared.

photo of a pair of men in a hardware store

Benefits of an HIV Policy

Workplace policies and programs benefits include:

  • Facilitates an inclusive and supportive work environment for employees living with HIV
  • Reduces employee fear, work disruption, and customer concern
  • Demonstrates a company’s corporate social responsibility, leadership, and commitment to their employees and communities
  • Complies with National and State disability and antidiscrimination requirements as mandated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state and local statutes

Comprehensive Policy Essentials

Federal laws and policies protect the rights of employees with disabilities or other health conditions, including HIV. Comprehensive HIV workplace policies should include the following elements:

  • Complies with federal, state, and local laws, including the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines, and the Affordable Care Act.
  • Integrates hiring, promotion, transfer, reasonable accommodation, and dismissal policies with regard to employees HIV
  • Provides information about benefit programs available to employees and family members with HIV and meets the standards of the Affordable Care Act
  • Promotes HIV prevention and understanding through employee education
  • Instructs managers and supervisors on how to address HIV and related workplace discrimination
  • Sets the standard of behavior and communication about HIV expected of staff
  • Informs staff on where to go for assistance and additional information

Associated Resources

To learn more about workplace and workforce policies, click below:

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. Learn about your rights HHS ADA resources pdf icon[607 KB]external icon
  • The ACA provides Americans—including those at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS—better access to healthcare coverage and more health insurance options. Learn more Affordable Care Act and HIV resourcesexternal icon
  • The Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Department of Justiceexternal icon
  • People with HIV, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, are protected by the ADA. Learn more ADA AIDS Brochureexternal icon
  • Employment is an essential part of leading an independent, self-directed life for all people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. The Office of Disability Employment Policy developed a suite of Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS resources to assist individuals, employers, and service providers understand related issues. Department of Laborexternal icon