Court rejects woman’s claim she was sacked because of HIV


A woman, who alleged that she was unlawfully terminated from her job because she was HIV positive in 2010, was refused damages by the Waigani National Court.
Human rights judge Justice David Cannings ruled yesterday that termination of the employment was not unlawful.
He said there was no credible evidence that her employment was terminated because of her HIV positive status.
The court heard that the plaintiff was employed as a logging inspector for four years with an Australian logging company based in Port Moresby.
She was employed by the first defendant, Bruce Telfer, who was the general manager in Oct, 2006, and her employment was terminated in Nov 2010.
The woman was served a suspension notice from Telfer charging her with professional misconduct for allegations of assault of a fellow employee and threats of further violence.
She was given a week to reply to her disciplinary charge, which she did, but she lost her job anyway.
The court heard that the company paid her entitlements in various amounts on termination.
The woman sued the defendants for damages and sought declarations that her termination was unlawful and involved a breach of human rights.
She pleaded that she was dismissed because she was HIV-positive and without good cause since she had satisfactorily replied to allegations of misconduct.
The woman also pleaded that her human rights had been breached and asked the court to make declarations and orders for damages.
The court ruled that she had failed to establish a cause for her action and show to the court that her HIV status was used to reflect her termination.
The court refused all relief sought and dismissed the application.