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Policy

HIV/AIDS

The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination or harassment against any persons who are, or who are suspected to be, HIV-infected. Similarly, the Code prohibits discrimination or harassment against people who associate with persons who are, or who are suspected to be, HIV-infected.

Seneca College wishes to assert its commitment to this position through the following:

"Any employee or student who is, or who is suspected to be, HIV-infected has a right to work and/or study at Seneca College free from discrimination or harassment. Any employee or student who associates with persons who are, or suspected to be, HIV-infected has a right to work and/or study at Seneca College free from discrimination or harassment. Any employee and/or student who is HIV infected, is entitled to all benefits and privileges normally accorded including access to pools, gymnasia and residences."

Board of Governors

1. Employment

  1. Mandatory HIV antibody testing of prospective or current employees is not permitted. However, after a written offer of employment, an employment related medical may be required for positions where the essential duties of the job may place themselves or others at risk.
  2. The College may reconsider a written offer of employment if an employment related medical indicates that a reasonable and bona fide concern exists which prevents the individual from performing the essential duties of the job, or where the essential duties of the job places themselves or others at risk. In reconsidering the offer of employment, the College will make every effort to find reasonable accommodation for the individual.

2. Job Placement

  1. HIV infected employees have a right to continue to perform their job unless it can be objectively shown that the type of duties they perform may place either themselves or others at risk. If it is objectively shown that either the employee or others are at risk, the College will make every effort to find reasonable accommodation for the individual.
  2. No employee will be differentially trained, evaluated, reassigned or treated in any manner based on the knowledge or suspicion that the employee is HIV infected.
  3. Any assignment to alternative duties due to an individual's HIV health status can only be made as a result of: a consistent demonstrated unsafe practice which may place the individual or others at risk; or a request by the employee for reassignment. In the event an employee requests reassignment due to his/her HIV health status, the College will make every effort to accommodate the needs of the employee.
  4. An employee will not be permitted reassignment for the purpose of avoiding work with another employee who is thought to be or known to be HIV infected.
  5. Any reassignment will be carried out consistent with the terms of the appropriate Collective Agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment for Administrative Employees.
  6. The decision to determine if the type of duties place the individual or others at risk or to determine if reasonable accommodation for reassignment can be made, will be made by a committee consisting of the Vice-President responsible for the area, the Vice-President of Human Resources and/or designate, the Director of the Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre, a Health Centre Medical Professional and a local union representative. The employee will have the right to attend meetings in order to facilitate understanding of his/her needs.
  7. All employees who may handle fluids known to carry the HIV virus in the course of performing their job duties, will be trained in the safe handling of such substances.
  8. All employees at risk of contact with fluids known to carry the HIV virus shall use appropriate safety procedures during the course of their job duties and responsibilities.

3. Personal Information – Collection

  1. Students or prospective students are under no obligation to disclose HIV/AIDS related personal information in order to register as a student or complete their studies with the College.
  2. Employees have no right to acquire HIV/AIDS related personal information about their co-workers.
  3. HIV/AIDS related personal information that is volunteered about an employee or a student by a third party should not be collected, used, disclosed or retained by the College.
  4. Information volunteered by a person about themselves should only be collected and retained where it meets criteria similar to those that apply under Subsection 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1987, where at least one of the following criteria is satisfied:
    • retention is expressly authorized by statue;
    • retention is necessary for the purpose of law enforcement; or,
    • retention is necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity.

    Please contact the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Coordinator for further information concerning collection under Section 38(2).
  5. If HIV/AIDS related personal information is collected, the individual collecting the personal information must inform the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Coordinator for Seneca College of what security precautions are in place to protect the information from accidental or unauthorized use or disclosure.

4. Personal Information – Disclosure

  1. Employees who acquire personal information about co-workers have no right to disclose such information to an infected employee's co-workers and maybe disciplined for doing so unless a compelling reason for disclosure can be shown.
  2. Under Section 41 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1987, HIV/AIDS related information may only be used or disclosed in the following circumstances:
    • where the person to whom the information relates has identified that information in particular and consented to its use;
    • for the purpose for which it was obtained or compiled or for a consistent purpose;
    • for a purpose for which the information may be disclosed to the institution under Section 42 of the Act.

    The Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Coordinator will determine what constitutes a "consistent purpose" under section 41. The disclosure provisions under Section 42 may be supplemented in some cases to request the consent of the individual to whom the information relates.
  3. When deciding whether to approve disclosure, the Coordinator will consider the following:
    • why disclosure is necessary;
    • the potential adverse consequences of the disclosure for the person (s) to whom it relates;
    • whether the person or body requesting the information will maintain its confidentiality;
    • whether the person or body requesting the information will use it only for the purpose for which it is being sought, and,
    • how accurate and up-to-date the information is.

5. Personal Information – Access

The right to access personal information is a personal right which can be exercised by the individual to whom the information relates or his/her authorized agent.

Employees and students generally have a right under Section 47(1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1987, to:

  • access their own HIV/AIDS related personal information;
  • request correction of the information;
  • require the insertion of a statement of disagreement; and,
  • require other persons or bodies to be notified of the correction or statement of disagreement.

Updated January 2007