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How sick does a person have to be before it becomes a health issue in the office? When a person with an air-born or a contagious life threatening disease like Chicken pox or worse not be allowed to be in around other people? Could they be held accountable for getting others sick and not using sick days?

Scenario: A person who has AIDS is working next to someone with chicken pox but nether of them are legally obligated to disclose their illness?

What is the protocol in the medical field as an employer vary to a non-medical business?

Related: How soon should you return to work after illness?

  • How is your company sick day policy? What country is this? I would want to know why the current policy makes you feel like you have to go to work even though you are sick. – Brandin May 27 at 6:38
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    Hi, and welcome to workplace.SE! Unfortunately, you are asking several questions at once - "How sick does a person have to be?", "Could they be held accountable?", then something about AIDS, and about protocols. Please edit to focus on a single question (or a single issue), so we can give a meaningful answer. – sleske May 27 at 6:48
  • This will depend on country, industry, job and illness. A restaurant spreading norovirus may get itself shut down and sued (and a dangerously bad reputation). And worker and public/consumer protections are stronger in some countries than others. – Alex Hayward May 27 at 7:34
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    I don't get why having AIDS would be an issue? Do you regularly have unprotected sex in your workplace? Or do your coworkers regularly spill their blood around? If you don't work in porn or you aren't a doctor/nurse then I don't really see why having AIDS would be an issue. – Giacomo Alzetta May 27 at 8:01
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    @GiacomoAlzetta I think the issue there is that the person is more susceptible to catching illnesses (immune-compromised), not spreading them. – Monica Cellio May 27 at 14:59
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According to National Science Foundation who conducted a survey and concluded that 26% of employees attend to the work while they are sick.They come to office to attend their workload and if they are right as rain, they fake it. So if a person is sick affected by a contagious disease like chicken pox he must take doctor precautions and do not spread the disease at office environment. Though AIDS is not contagious it also needs to be discussed before one joins a company.

Employees faking sickness becoming a menace to the organization’s health. So employees being too adamant and nosey about sick leaves makes actual sick employees come to the office and spread a contagious disease. Take a look at this article to understand the real reasons behind employee absenteeism: Sick Leaves Are Making Employers Sick. Unraveling The Perfect Pill

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    I think he mentioned AIDS because someone who has it is more vulnerable to diseases, including chicken pox. Not because AIDS is contagious. Also, I might be in the wrong here, but I don't think that AIDS has to be discussed with the company. It might even be subject to prejudice. – undefined May 27 at 9:04
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Sometimes thare are laws that a person must be careful to not spread his contagious illness to others. You will need to consult a more knowledgeable person on this mater.

But there is the common sense also. Do you really want everybody in the office to go home sick? (Assuming that they will all catch the sickness). Even if they will not develop the disease, they will still carry it and spread it to people on the bus or to their children. And so on...

There might be company regulations also. Talk to HR about this.


I do not know how things are generally handled, but I suppose that the person with AIDS should disclose their condition, if they want to minimize getting infected from the colleagues - considering that the colleagues have a least a minimum or social responsibility.


It is in the best interest of the sick person to stay home to recover. Chicken pox, as well as other similar affections are best treated by resting at home. Of course, seeing a doctor is recommended - chicken pox at adult ages can have some complications.

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    Some with HIV / AIDS fail to tell their partners so why would they tell a co-worker... – Solar Mike May 27 at 5:57
  • Agree. That is why I said "should" - sometimes it is in their best interest, even if it has some unwanted undesirable effects. – virolino May 27 at 6:21
  • @Muze I use upvotes, downvotes and close votes as I feel I need... You do seem good at collecting questions that are closed or on hold - much better at that than I am... – Solar Mike May 27 at 19:02
  • @SolarMike Why don't you ever ask questions? – Muze the good Troll. May 27 at 19:21
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    @Muze is there as rule that one must ask questions? – Solar Mike May 27 at 19:27

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