Hepa-B to be listed in anti-discrimination law

THE CITY’S Anti-Discrimination Ordinance will soon be amended to protect workers who have health concerns.The committee on health is set to discuss on second reading the possible amendments of the ordinance, which was passed in 2012 to include the Hepatitis B (HBV) infected persons as one of those who are vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace.

Based on the committee report, the Department of Employment said that persons suffering HBV should not be discriminated when it comes to employment.

The DOLE also issued an advisory for the components of the HBV workplace policy and program. It specifically states the following:

1. There shall be no discrimination of any form against workers on the basis of their Hepatitis B status consistent with international agreements on non-discrimination ratified by the Philippines (ILO C111). They shall not be discriminated against, from pre- to post-employment, including hiring, promotion, or assignment;

2. They shall not be declared unfit to work without appropriate medical evaluation and counseling;

3. Workers shall not be terminated on the basis of the actual, perceived, or suspected Hepatitis B status;

4. Workplace management of sick employees shall not differ from that of any other illness. Persons with Hepatitis-B related illness should be able to work for as long as they are medically fit;

Proponent for the proposed amendment is councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the committee on health.

First-time offenders, will pay a fine of P1,000; P2,000 fine and imprisonment of 10 days for second-time offenders and for those who continue to violate the ordinance, they will be fined P5,000 and jailed for at least 15 days “or upon the discretion of the court.”

The amendment also includes the membership of the City health Office, LGBTQ++ and Integrated Gender Development Division (IGDD) in the Anti-Discrimination Mediation and Conciliation Board.

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