Sep 18, 2002
dear nancy, im hiv positive but doing great and have an undetected viral load with no side effects except dihrea and my t-cells 478. i work for american airlines. i want to be on the family leave program, but scared to tell american airlines of my hiv status. only american airlines medical dept. would know of my medical status if i tell them of my hiv status. supervisors at my station are not to be informed at all under no reasons. but this airline as i know lies about alout of things. can i be fired if they find out?
Response from Ms. Breuer
At each stage of your process, make sure that the person you are dealing with understands the legal requirement for confidentiality concerning medical information. When you apply for FMLA leave, you do need to enter a diagnosis on the form. But this information should remain in your medical file, separate from your personnel file. In your shoes, I would reiterate these facts with everyone involved, and I would submit the FMLA request only to the head of the department--with the confidentiality conversation. But don't let your fears about confidentiality stop you from caring for your health, which is far more important. Please.
It is illegal to fire someone for being HIV+. Your employer is a big kid who knows this.
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