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HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy
Pfizer recognizes the magnitude and severity of the development of HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide. As a global health care company, Pfizer is committed to the development of policies and the implementation of programs by its global workplace sites on HIV/AIDS non-discrimination, awareness, prevention and health support.
While programs may be locally based and designed to meet local conditions, the overarching policy of HIV/AIDS non-discrimination, awareness, prevention, and health support applies to all employees of the Company and its subsidiaries.
To this end, Pfizer workplace sites globally should seek to develop local programs and policies to adhere to the following guidelines:
Consistent with Pfizer's pre-existing company-wide global policy on non-discrimination, it is the policy of Pfizer to provide a work environment for its employees that is free from harassment and/or discrimination. Colleagues who engage in acts of harassment and/or discrimination are subject to corrective action that may include termination of employment. Accordingly, colleague situations related to HIV and AIDS are governed by the following Principles:
- Pfizer will not and does not discriminate against colleagues or applicants having, perceived as having, living with or otherwise affected by HIV or AIDS.
- Pfizer treats HIV/AIDS the same as other illnesses in terms of all of our employee policies and benefits, including health and life insurance, disability benefits and leaves of absence.
- In accordance with applicable laws, Pfizer provides reasonable work accommodations when needed for qualified individuals.
- All colleagues must adhere to our non-discrimination policy. Colleagues who refuse to work with, withhold services from, harass or otherwise discriminate against another colleague because of his/her having HIV/AIDS, being perceived as having, living with HIV/AIDS, or being otherwise affected by HIV/AIDS, will be subject to discipline and/or other corrective actions.
Pfizer maintains an "open-door" policy. Colleagues who feel they have been discriminated against as a result of having, being perceived as having, living with or being affected by HIV/AIDS, and those who have any other related concerns, are encouraged to utilize the Open Door Policy. Please refer to the Open Door Policy for additional details. A colleague who is uncomfortable using the Open Door Policy may contact the Pfizer Compliance Hotline at 1-866-866-7349 (Outside the U.S.: dial your access code, wait for the tone or prompt and then call 1-866-866-7349). The Pfizer Compliance Hotline is not meant for personal employee benefit issues.
HIV Testing, Confidentiality and Disclosure
- Pfizer encourages routine, confidential, voluntary testing and counseling as part of its education and awareness programs.
- HIV and AIDS are treated confidentially as medical conditions, in accordance with applicable laws and Pfizer policies.
- Pfizer does not require colleagues, their dependents, job applicants or other third parties to undergo HIV testing as a condition of employment or receipt of benefits.
Promoting a Safe Work Environment
Pfizer is committed to providing a work environment that protects colleague health and safety. This commitment recognizes that HIV/ AIDS cannot be transmitted through casual contact. Employees who know the facts about HIV infection and AIDS are less likely to react negatively or inappropriately to a colleague's illness. Therefore, Pfizer's global sites are expected to manage the risk of HIV infection in the workplace through:
- Appropriate training, awareness, and education on the use of infection control measures in the workplace;
- Provision of appropriate equipment and materials to protect colleagues from the risk of exposure to HIV in the performance of their work;
- Appropriate HIV/AIDS information included in occupational health and first aid training.
Education and Awareness
Pfizer is concerned about the wellness of our colleagues and their families. Company-provided benefits and programs have an important role in preserving the dignity of those colleagues infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. They serve to help them maintain normal and productive lives. The Company will provide, either directly or through third parties, an integrated education and awareness program focusing on prevention. Such programs, to be determined by global workplace sites, could include:
- Training for managers and supervisors to communicate and ensure compliance with Pfizer's HIV/AIDS workplace policy and related programs and benefits;
Access to print, video and computer-based communication strategies to promote:
- Medically accurate, relevant information on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, including education and information on effective programs related to "A-B-C" (e.g., abstinence, be faithful, and condoms);
- Information on safe sexual practices, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and overall health promotion including information on substance abuse;
- Information on voluntary HIV/AIDS testing, referral and counseling services; and,
- Where appropriate to local conditions, measures to encourage the use and increased availability of condoms.
Access to Treatment and Care
Colleagues who test positive for HIV can be productive for a long time if they receive the right treatment and medical support. While recognizing that health care delivery systems differ by country or local jurisdiction, Pfizer believes that its employees should have access to treatment, including, where available, treatment regimens requiring anti-retrovirals and anti-infectives.
In the absence of the availability of and access to external programs for which its employees may be eligible (e.g., through government-sponsored health insurance or other state-sponsored programs and opportunities for treatment and care), Pfizer will ensure access to anti-retroviral therapy as follows: Pfizer will provide any Pfizer medicines, other medications approved and available for sale in the country, and other treatments according to the local standard of care including medically necessary and appropriate tests; and additional medical care through local benefit programs or other appropriate means, as determined by local Company management, consistent with the terms of other similar benefit delivery programs for its colleagues and their eligible dependents.
The Company does not accept responsibility in cases of employees or eligible dependents who decline Company medical benefit coverage, who voluntarily terminate treatment, or who fail to observe the conditions associated with the provision of the medication. Nor does the Company accept responsibility for any possible failure or side-effects of the therapy itself.
The company recognizes that some workplace sites, because of size, geography, multiple lines of business, or other issues, may develop differing implementation schedules for the effectuation of the policies and programs outlined in this statement. In no event, however, is any line of business or workplace site exempt from this commitment to HIV/AIDS non-discrimination, awareness, prevention, and health support for the Company's employees and their eligible dependents. Further to effectuate the purposes of this policy:
- Programs should be adapted to comply with local laws. They should strive to be culturally sensitive and conform to local customs and practices, to the extent such customs and practices are consistent with good science, medical knowledge, information and practice.
- Training is essential for the successful implementation of programs and policies related to HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Local management is responsible for budgeting for, designing and implementing an appropriate and effective training program consistent with the overall policy. Training should cover the basic principles of this policy and plans for communication of the policy to local colleagues.
- Local management is encouraged to promote awareness of this policy to local business partners, other enterprises and, where considered appropriate, enter into partnerships with them in order to jointly pursue effective policies concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Local management is further encouraged to share best practices within the Pfizer organization.
Note: This policy is subject to regular monitoring and evaluation