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Posted By: |August 06, 2020 |

National Industrial Court, Lagos Dvision, Delivers Landmark Judgment On Work Place Discrimination Based On The Hiv Status Of An Employee


Mr. X, through his Counsel, Messrs. Abdu-Salaam Abbas & Co., commenced a lawsuit against Smiridu Nigeria Limited at the National Industrial Court (NIC), Lagos (Suit No. NIC/LA/265/2015) seeking, inter alia, a declaration that the termination of his employment by the Respondent on 24th March 2015 constitutes a violation of his fundamental rights to human dignity and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed by sections 34 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 2, 5 and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the ground that his termination was based on the discovery that he was HIV positive. The Applicant also sought for general, aggravated and exemplary damages against the Respondent for the shabby and wrongful manner in which his employment was terminated.

The pertinent facts of the case are as follows: the Applicant contended that the Respondent had a policy of mandating its employees to undergo HIV tests at various times of the year and on one of such occasions, he was discovered to be HIV positive. Upon discovery of the Applicant’s HIV status, his Line Manager asked him to go home to take care of himself and never return to the office. The Applicant’s solicitor consequently wrote a letter to the Respondent requesting it to rescind the termination of the Applicant’s employment and compensate him, but the Respondent did not respond to the letter.

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