Am changing jobs; read conflicting info on legal complications re disclosure
Jan 22, 2002
I have been offered new job. The advice in this site is that there is no requirement to tell a new (or old) empoyer about HIV ststus (you even discourage it). But in a letter to editor of Poz magazine (jan 2002, p.6,letter from EB in SF), the writer says employer told him they were "not legally required to geve me an accommodation (because I had failed to disclose that I had a disability prior to the agency hiting me),but also that my having HIV is considered a preexisting condition." I have not been ill or disability but worry if not trelling employer upon being hired could later affect medical indurance if do get sick, work life insurance, or accommodation if I should need it, etc.
Help. I need to let them know if will accept this position in few days.
ps: Am enclosing my email in case one of you can respond to me asap, but please dont post it. firstname.lastname@example.org
Response from Ms. Breuer
The POZ letter you quoted was certainly a stew of creative interpretations of an employer's obligations under the ADA. What piffle!
Here's the deal. You have to tell them upon hiring if you have any functional limitations that would prevent you from fulfilling all of the essential functions of the job. That's it. If you can do the job they've offered you, that's the end of it. If your condition causes you to develop some functional limitations years from now and you still work for them, you're required to tell them that you have "a disability," or "a disabling condition" (no need to name it; they're not docs), and that you have certain functional limitations for which you request accommodation. The "pre-existing condition" language comes from health insurance, and has nothing to do with reasonable accommodation. My heart goes out to the person who got that awful response from an employer.
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