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South African carrier`s HIV policy found to be discriminatory.


South African Airways (SAA) has been told by the South African Constitutional Court that it should employ a man who had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The landmark ruling handed down on 28 September states that employers cannot deny work to a person who tests positive for HIV and resulted from a case involving a man who was refused a position as a flight attendant with SAA after he tested positive according to Reuters.

The ruling stated that SAA`s refusal to award the man a job because of the positive result was discriminatory and violated his constitutional rights.

New employment legislation introduced also makes it illegal in South Africa to test people for HIV, and the Judge presiding over the case stated that those infected with HIV should not be condemned to `economic death` through the denial of equal opportunity in employment.

SAA has apparently tried to argue that its policy of not employing HIV-infected people was in-line with those of other airlines and that it could disadvantage it against competitors, however the judge dismissed the argument stating, `we must guard against allowing stereotyping to creep in under the guise of commercial interests.`

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Sep 29, 2000
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