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Corporate world insensitive to HIV positive?

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Corporate world insensitive to HIV positive?

Joydeep Ray. Thursday, May 1, 2008 (Ahmedabad)

Is India Inc discriminating against HIV positive people? Yes, says

Shisupal Bhadoriya, a driver sacked by multinational drug firm for

being HIV positive, who has now taken his employers, a top

pharmaceutical company, to court.

It's likely to become a test case for corporate India and whether it

can treat people living with HIV-AIDS without bias.

Three years ago, Sishupal Bhadoriya was thrown out his job as a

driver by Cadila Pharma because he was HIV positive.

Ironically, Cadila manufactures AIDS drugs. Bhadoriya has three

children and is worried about their survival.

''For three months I ran from pillar to the post of the company

asking them to reinstate me, even give me a job away from others.

They did not even bother to talk to me. The top brass has been

unreachable. I hope to get justice now, may be from God,'' said

Shishupal Bhadoriya.

A Cadila Pharma spokesperson said, ''Bhadoriya was unwell for three

months after being diagnosed as HIV Positive. There was a wound on

his hand, which was not healing and looked scary. He went on long

leave and later, resigned.''

However, according to WHO, office colleagues face no risk from a

positive person if adequate precautions are taken, and the wound is

treated. Bhadoriya denies resigning from his job.

''There are few cases where employees who were found HIV positive and

thrown out by their employers, courts have given ruling against

discrimination by employers. We will be using those cases as

precedence in Shishupal's case,'' said Shailaja Pillai, Lawyers

Collective, Advocate Gujarat HC.

Experts say that the long-pending HIV Bill must be tabled in

Parliament so that there is a proper policy and legal guidelines in

place to protect the interests of employees like Shishupal.

It would also help the corporate employer to gain clarity on how to

handle these cases.


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