HIV Case Could Mean Leniency For Other Disorders

A recent Supreme Court decision that an HIV-positive patient could sue her dentist under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he refused to treat her in his office could have wide-ranging consequences for employers, even though the case did not involve an employment relationship. That's the view of the New York-based law firm of Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman. The reason: The court held that a physical impairment exists in the case of HIV infection during every stage of the disease. That might make it more difficult, says the firm, for employers to restrict a worker's request for an accommodation to undergo treatments for infertility, impotence, or other reproductive disorders. The law firm adds that it also is likely that the Supreme Court's decision will lend further support to claims of discrimination by individuals who have other asymptomatic or chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma.

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