An appraisal of HIV and Aids (Anti-Discrimination) Act, 2014 and the tide of employment discrimination in Nigeria
Author David Tarh-Akong Eyongndi
Affiliations: LLB (Hons) UNICAL, LLM (Ibadan) BL. Lecturer, College of Law, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2020, Volume 8, Issue 1, p. 111 – 127
Subjecting employees or applicants to a medical test to determine whether they are fit for employment and so pre-empt any liability that the employer may suffer owing to the unfitness of the employer has become a prevalent practice. However, a trend has developed in terms of which employers subject employees to medical tests to use the outcome as a reason to discriminate against them and terminate their employment. Testing positive for HIV/AIDS is one such outcome where the status of the employee, despite their right to be free from discrimination, has been used to terminate their employment. This is the plight that persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLW HIV/AIDS) must suffer at the hands of employers as they were being discriminated against based on their health status even though it did not affect their ability to discharge their duties. This situation led to discontentment which developed into serious pressure to protect PLW HIV/AIDS. To address the phenomenon, the legislature enacted the HIV and AIDS (Anti-Discrimination) Act 2014. This article adopts the desk-based methodology in appraising the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act to determine the extent to which the Act has dealt with the quagmire of employment discrimination against PLW HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. It also considers the challenges confronting the implementation of the Act. The Anti-Discrimination Act has criminalised termination of employment on account of the HIV/AIDS status of an employee and prohibits other forms of discrimination sequel to the status. The article concludes by making vital recommendations on how to implement the Act in a way that strikes a balance between curbing discrimination while promoting the employer’s business.