Human rights courts awards HIV+ ex-employee damages over dismissal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarded a Greek man, identified only by his initials, I.B., more than 14,000 euros in damages over his unlawful dismissal after revealing to colleagues that he was HIV positive, it said on Thursday.

The court found that the firing of the 33-year-old from a jewelry manufacturing firm was a violation of the right to respect for private and family life and of discrimination laws enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The decision by the Strasbourg-based ECHR goes against previous court rulings in Greece that found the employer, who was not identified, was acting in the interest of his staff’s health and the smooth operation of the company when he succumbed to a written petition from a number of the plaintiff’s colleagues demanding his dismissal in 2005 after learning he was an HIV carrier.

I.B. lodged his application with the ECHR in December 2009.

According to Thursday’s decision, the Greek state will have to pay I.B. 6,339.18 euros in pecuniary damages and 8,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages, the ECHR said.

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