WLAD: HIV or Hepatitis C Infections
DEFINITION OF “HIV” AND “HEPATITIS C”
EVALUATION OF CLAIM OF DISCRIMINATION
For the purposes of determining whether an unfair practice under Chapter 49.60 RCW has occurred, claims of discrimination based on actual or perceived HIV or hepatitis C infection shall be evaluated in the same manner as other claims of discrimination based on sensory, mental, or physical disability; or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person. Section 49.60.174(1) RCW.
However, subsection 49.60.174(1) RCW (immediately above) shall not apply to transactions with insurance entities, health service contractors, or health maintenance organizations subject to RCW 49.60.030(1)(e) or 49.60.178 to prohibit fair discrimination on the basis of actual HIV or actual hepatitis C infection status when bona fide statistical differences in risk or exposure have been substantiated. Section 49.60.174(2) RCW.
As of the date of this article, the following are unfair practices with respect to HIV or hepatitis C infection (verify the current text of the law by visiting the Washington Courts Website):
1. HIRING, PROMOTION, OR CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT
No person may require an individual to take an HIV test, as defined in chapter 70.24 RCW, or hepatitis C test, as a condition of hiring, promotion, or continued employment unless the absence of HIV or hepatitis C infection is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job in question. Section 49.60.172(1) RCW.
2. DISCHARGE, FAIL/REFUSE TO HIRE, SEGREGATE, OR CLASSIFY
No person may discharge or fail or refuse to hire any individual, or segregate or classify any individual in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive that individual of employment opportunities or adversely affect his or her status as an employee, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of the results of an HIV test or hepatitis C test unless the absence of HIV or hepatitis C infection is a bona fide occupational qualification of the job in question. Section 49.60.172(2) RCW.
3. BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION
The absence of HIV or hepatitis C infection as a bona fide occupational qualification exists when performance of a particular job can be shown to present a significant risk, as defined by the board of health by rule, of transmitting HIV or hepatitis C infection to other persons, and there exists no means of eliminating the risk by restructuring the job. Section 49.60.172(3) RCW.
4. BENEFITS UNDER AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 49.74 RCW
For the purpose of chapter 49.60 RCW, any person who is actually infected with HIV or hepatitis C, but is not disabled as a result of the infection, shall not be eligible for any benefits under the affirmative action provisions of chapter 49.74 RCW solely on the basis of such infection. Section 49.60.172(4) RCW.
5. EMPLOYER IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL ACTION
Employers are immune from civil action for damages arising out of transmission of HIV or hepatitis C to employees or to members of the public unless such transmission occurs as a result of the employer’s gross negligence. Section 49.60.172(5) RCW.RCW 49.60.172(1)-(5).