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Verdict: Termination due to HIV infection is not discrimination in the opinion of the Berlin Labor Court
An HIV-infected person was fired from a pharmaceutical company after the trial period. The employee sued, but lost to the Berlin Labor Court. Deutsche Aids-Hilfe showed no understanding of the court decision.
Reason for termination of AIDS?
A man from Berlin was fired from a pharmaceutical company because of an infection with the HI virus. The plaintiff had worked as a chemical and technical assistant at the pharmaceutical company. The person concerned defended himself against the dismissal and now failed before the Berlin Labor Court. The dismissal of the employer is compatible with the law, the labor court announced in a message on Friday. Because the protection against dismissal can not be applied in this case, because the plaintiff was terminated before the expiry of six months of service, as a spokesman for the court argued. In addition, the man had been hired by the pharmaceutical company on a trial basis, and the court had argued in court that the dismissal was not justified. In addition, the termination is discrimination against those affected by AIDS.
From the reasoning of the judgment
The pharmaceutical manufacturer would have given the employee his job even without justification under labor law. The employer alone decides whether the employee will continue to be employed after the trial period. Therefore, the dismissal was not arbitrary and the defense's reasoning was understandable. Therefore, the termination of the employment relationship "cannot be checked for factual justification". If the company had terminated the plaintiff due to the HIV infection after the six-month trial period, the termination would not have existed legally. Here, the infection with the AIDS virus is not decisive, but the trial period, the court said. There was also no factual discrimination based on disability. Because an infection with the AIDS virus does not affect the ability to work today. Therefore, AIDS should not be recognized as a disability in the legal sense.
Aids Aid Association protests the judgment
Deutsche Aids-Hilfe showed no understanding of the verdict. "People with HIV must be reliably protected against discrimination in working life," said the board of the non-profit association Winfried Holz in Berlin. In principle, AIDS should not be grounds for dismissal. Even in the negotiated case, there was never any risk of infection for colleagues and customers. If companies have questions about the HIV virus, they could get help and support from Deutsche Aids-Hilfe. The judgment can be appealed to the Berlin-Brandenburg State Labor Court. (File number district court Berlin: 17 Ca 1102/11)
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