Application of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to HIV-Infected Individuals

Headnotes: 

In the non-employment context, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects symptomatic and asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals against discrimination in any covered program or activity on the basis of any actual, past or perceived effect of HIV that substantially limits any major life activity—so long as the HIV-infected individual is “otherwise qualified” to participate in the program or activity.

Section 504 applies in substance in the same way in the employment context. Subject to an employer making reasonable accommodation within the terms of its existing personnel policies, the symptomatic or asymptomatic HIV-infected individual is protected against discrimination if he or she is able to perform the duties of the job and does not constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

Updated July 9, 2014