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Texas worries
Mar 13, 2003

Can an Employer in Texas fire you because you have contacted the HIV virus? Can they test you for it without your consent?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Texas/Schmexas, no! The Americans with Disabilities Act is federal law. No, your employer cannot test you for HIV without your consent. And why on earth would you give your consent? HIV is private medical information. Most of the workplace problems we read about on this site could be avoided if people kept their medical information to themselves.

If your employer knows your HIV status because you told your employer, then I suggest you focus on delivering excellent performance, make sure you keep copies of all your performance evaluations and follow up immediately on anything negative, and make an appointment with the head of HR to make sure everyone's clear on your rights under the ADA. Just because firing someone on the basis of known or presumed HIV infection is illegal, that doesn't mean some employers won't do it. And all it takes to right that wrong is about 5 years of your life and thousands of dollars.


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