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News Notes: High Court To Decide Whether HIV Is A Disability

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to resolve conflicting lower court decisions about whether people who are HIV-positive, but don’t have any AIDS symptoms, automatically qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case, which involved the part of the law dealing with discrimination in public accommodations, arose when a dentist refused to treat an HIV-positive patient in his office. But because the definition of a disability is similar for both public accommodations and workplaces, the court’s ruling may clarify your legal obligations regarding hiring or retaining workers with HIV under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The court could also shed light on the broader issue of whether someone with a serious illness, but no disabling symptoms, is nevertheless protected by the ADA.