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My peer councelor is a tattle tale
Sep 18, 2002

I work in a 911 communications center, after testing HIV+, I confided in my supervisor (which is also trained as the Dept. Peer Counselor) only due to the fact of some health issues in the work place (I.E. always assigning sick people to take over stations so others can go on their breaks). I explained to her that I needed to talk to her in an Employee/Counselor capacity and that she canot tell anyone else, even her husband (who works at the center) 2 days later I was called up and told we were having a department meeting. When I arrived, I was informed that she told the Operations Superintendent who in-turn went and told his supervisorand then took the matter up with the City Attorney. When asked, they cannot tell me who else now knows because they don't know who else was told. Her reasoning behind her telling others was she was worried about other not wanting to work at my station 'IF' they found out about my HIV status. At this time, an ulcer that has not acted up in along time is bothering me as well as sleeping problems and my pride in my work is suffering. What should I do?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Your rights as a city employee have been violated. Go to the city attorney about your concerns. Yes, directly. Ask for an appointment to discuss violation of your privacy rights. And if the city attorney tries to blow you off, get your own attorney, through your local AIDS service organization. There is no excuse for any city employee being treated this way in 2002.

Do you have a union? A shop steward? If so, involve that person. Many union personnel are now well-educated about HIV and could talk circles around your ill-advised supervisor.



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