Discrimination in the hiring process or against employees can occur when employers are in possession of a worker’s medical health information or history. Consent should be obtained before accessing an individual’s health records.
The use of this information to unlawfully discriminate against a person is a violation of the right to privacy (if consent is not obtained) and the right to be free from discrimination.
Lawful discrimination can be prescribed in national laws, such as where the type of work involved requires that the worker meet certain health criteria for safety reasons.
Persons with disabilities or medical conditions have the right to work without discrimination on the basis of their disability or condition. Discrimination in the hiring process or against employees due to medical health information can arise in numerous ways, such as when a person’s HIV status or mental health condition becomes known.
Employers should establish policies to ensure they protect the private health information of potential and existing employees and develop recruitment policies that equally promote employment opportunities and career advancement without unlawful discrimination based on medical health records.