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4. Will I be fired / retrenched if my boss finds out about my HIV status?

At this point in time there are no laws in Malaysia governing HIV issues or for that matter protecting PLWHAs. Hence, the employer cannot fire / retrench an employee based on one’s HIV status. However, in view stigma and discrimination, the employer might find other means or reasons to do it e.g. non-performance, non-compliance, medically unfit, mistakes etc… This also applies to other sickness whom they think the employee could be a liability to the company.

Under Malaysian Labour Law, if the employee is sick, hospitalized and cannot work ( must be verified by Doctor) , he is entitled to 6 months leave with full pay, 6 months leave with ½ pay and 6 months leave with no pay. After that, if he is still physically unfit to work, then it’s up to the company’s discretion whether to continue with the employment or to terminate one’s service with the company.

If the service of the employee is unjustly terminated due to stigma and discrimination, the suggestion is to refer this to the Malaysian Aids Council or the Legal Aid Malaysia for professional advice and next cause of action.

If the employee decides to take up a legal case against the employer, the employee must be prepared and have sufficient evidence to prove that one’s service is unjustly terminated. The proceedings could be long drawn and could even attract media attention.

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