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Employment protection or discrimination? (Courts).

Protection from employment discrimination just got a little shakier for people with HIV and other chronic diseases. The Supreme Court on June 10 ruled that the Americans With Disabilities Act does not prevent companies from being able to deny employment to workers with chronic health conditions if the firm deems the job threatening to the employee's health. The case revolved around refinery worker Mario Echazabal, who was denied a job at a Chevron plant in El Segundo, Calif., because he has hepatitis C. Chevron officials said that the solvents and other chemicals used in the workplace could endanger Echazabal's health and accelerate his hepatitis.

AIDS activists worry that the decision could be used by companies to deny employment to qualified HIV-positive workers or to decline to provide workplace accommodations.

"It's a very, very thin line that separates a genuine paternalistic concern for the workers and outright discrimination," said Catherine Hanssens, director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's AIDS Project.
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Title Annotation:interpretation of Americans With Disabilities Act for people with chronic diseases
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 23, 2002
Previous Article:Opting out. (Breast Cancer).
Next Article:Cleaner cut? (HIV).

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