Home > Health, National Human Rights Commission of Korea > NHRCK Prohibits Discrimination Based on Health

NHRCK Prohibits Discrimination Based on Health

By: Yuri Yi

On December 31, 2010, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) has advised the chief of hospital X, name not stated for protection purposes, to remedy his decision of refusing to hire a medical laboratory technologist on the basis of being positive for Hepatitis B.

Mr. B, who remains anonymous for his protection, was disqualified from the hiring process due to his medical condition and petitioned NHRCK to have hospital X withdraw the decision. He said, although I passed all the tests including the final interview, my carrier state disqualified me from the job.”

On the other hand, hospital X argued that “we couldn’t help limiting his employment because the disease is contagious. Due to the nature of the job of a medical laboratory technologist such as managing blood of patients, he was an improper applicant.”

However, NHRCK judged that “It is an excessive limitation to reject him for the reason of infectiousness. According to the opinion of specialist, hepatitis B is an illness not easily caught through normal cohabitation, if there is no blood or sexual contact. Working in hospital with people belongs to the case of normal cohabitation.”

One of the officials at NHRCK explained that,a hospital would be able to prevent dangerous situation from happening by letting Mr. B obey the pollution prevention regulations like other medical laboratory technologists. There are enough alternatives such as temporary suspension of duty which might be able to transmit the virus through blood.”

Mr. B has work experience at a hospital in Gangwon Province, Korea.

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