Philippines: People living with HIV face difficulty in accessing remedies vs. workplace discrimination and harassment

Author: Ana Santos, Deutsche Welle, Published on: 12 February 2018

"Philippines- workers with HIV face discrimination, says HRW,"  09 February 2018

Philippine workers infected by HIV suffer workplace discrimination on account of their health status and usually do not seek redress, revealed a new report released by Human Rights Watch...

...HRW... documented cases where people living with HIV (PLHIV) were not hired, forced to resign or terminated.   

There were also instances of harassment and shaming of PLHIV by supervisors and colleagues. Under Philippine law, PLHIV cannot be denied employment on account of their HIV status. Mandatory testing as part of pre-employment requirements and disclosure of HIV status without consent are also prohibited.

Despite these provisions, the workers usually did not file formal complaints because they feared additional harassment or did not know where to go to seek redress...

The Philippines has the fastest-growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific Region... 

In August last year, the government declared HIV a "national emergency" but still, interventions to address the epidemic have been slow.

...[T]here is only one documented case of an employee who filed a complaint of discrimination against his employer and won. Renato Nocos had been working for the popular Ricky Reyes chain of beauty salons when he disclosed that he had tested positive for HIV and was subsequently terminated.

...After two years, the NLRC ruled in his favor ordering the salon to pay back his wages, benefits and attorney's fees.

 

 

 

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