School Board Policy Regarding Employees with HIV-Related Illness
The Board of Education recognizes the public concern over the health issues surrounding acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The Board also recognizes, based upon the current state of medical knowledge, that HIV is not easily transmitted and there is no evidence that HIV can be transmitted by casual social contact in the school setting.
The Board acknowledges the interests of employees diagnosed as having HIV infection or AIDS in continuing their employment, as well as the interests of all students and employees of the school district to learn and work without being subjected to significant risks to their health. The Board also takes notice that under current law and regulations the disclosure of confidential HIV-related information must be strictly limited.
Accordingly, it is the policy of the Board of Education that no district employee shall be prevented from continuing his or her employment solely on the basis of such information. They are entitled to all rights, privileges, and services accorded to other employees.
In accordance with current law and regulations, it is also the policy of the Board to prevent any employee from being subjected to adverse or discriminatory treatment or stigma solely because he or she has been diagnosed as being HIV-infected or having AIDS.
The Superintendent also shall implement annual training, and all school personnel shall comply with, guidelines and routine UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS procedures which may involve handling of blood, blood borne pathogens, and blood spills in or on school premises and grounds. The Superintendent should consult public health officials, as appropriate, for the most current methods and information pertaining to such procedures.
Employees with HIV-Related Illness Regulations:
If information is received regarding an employee’s HIV status, the Superintendent of Schools may consult with the school attorney on the appropriate course of action to take under the circumstances, bearing in mind the district’s potential liability for defamation, employment discrimination, breach of the confidentiality requirements of Article 27-F of the New York Public Health Law, and other possible causes of action.
Information obtained pursuant to any Authorization for Release of Confidential HIV Related Information or court order is confidential and shall not be released to anyone, except to (1) persons listed on the said form; (2) persons listed on the court order pursuant to Section 2785 of Article 27F of the New York State Public Health Law; or (3) persons authorized to receive such information without a release or court order under Section 2782 of Article 27-F of the New York State Public Health Law (such as licensed health or social service professionals).
No school official shall require any employee to undergo an HIV antibody test or other HIV-related test. This policy shall not, however, preclude school officials from requiring an employee to undergo an examination under Education Law 913, when other illness is suspected, as long as no involuntary HIV antibody test, other HIV-related test, or verbal screening for the presence of HIV infection are part of such an examination.
Standards for Avoiding Employment Discrimination:
No disciplinary action or other adverse personnel action shall be taken against an employee solely because he/she has HIV infection or AIDS. Action may be taken against an employee only if he/she is disabled and the disability interferes with his/her ability to perform, in a reasonable manner, the activities involved in the job or occupation.
The district shall make such reasonable accommodation to enable the employee to perform employment duties as may be required by Federal or State law.