The author is an AAA panel member and a New York City attorney whose focus includes health care, entertainment and public service. He is an adjunct with Cornell University's New York State School of Industrial Labor Relations and has been arbitrating since 1982. This article is adapted from a speech Berger delivered at an AAA Arbitration Day event last November.
The AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on society in general and on the workplace in particular. Cases are a rising with increasing frequency in which judges and arbitrators must delineate the respective rights of employers, unions, HIV-infected individuals and coworkers.
AIDS is the acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; it is an infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which destroys the white blood cells in the body that prevent infectious diseases. A blood test will reveal antibodies to the virus; a seropositive result indicates infection in a person exposed to the virus. An HIV -positive individual may remain asymptomatic, may develop diseases or symptoms associated with AIDS without d eveloping AIDS itself, which is referred to as "AIDS-related complex" (ARC), or a person may develop full-blown AIDS.