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hassled by employer!!!
Jul 10, 2003

i was diagnosed in oct.2002 with hiv..i recently started a parttime job to help out with extra exspenses ..my partime job has a no beard policy .but due to medications and side effects from them i developed a very severe rash from one of the medications that i take daily but due to my tremndous progress over the months my doctor wants me to continue with the medication and not shave until it goes away so i had my doctor to do a letter to my partime employer stating i could not shave and to excuse me for this ..the hired me anyway after the head manager looked at it .meanwhile the personel director has been constantly harrasing me about this and even asked another employee have i ever stated the real reason i could not shave this woman is relentless to the point that i go out of my way to avoid her ..whithout revealing my medical condition wich is non of her business what else should i do ??i,m afraid i will get so,so,angry with her and say something i will regret and ruin this partime job wich i despretly need to help make ends meet...HELP!!!

Response from Ms. Breuer

You are so smart to ask about how to deal with this woman BEFORE you pop off and put your job at risk. You've done everything right so far. There's no reason to change that!

My suggestion: Request an urgent meeting with the head manager. YOur personnel director is risking a huge fine by violating HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accouontability Act. New restrictions that came into effect on April 14, 2003 protect the confidentiality of medical information even more than it was protected before. If you cannot get a meeting with the head manager, please use the services of either your physician (if s/he is willing to do this) or an attorney (check with your local AIDS service organization) to write the head manager a letter alerting him to this situation. In the correspondence, your diagnosis should never be mentioned. You have negotiated a reasonable accommodation of your health condition, and that is confidential. Of all people, the personnel director should know--and be enforcing!--this HIPAA provision.

If getting the letter written costs you a fee, consider it an investment in keeping a job you've already worked hard to earn and maintain. Please do this right away, before you get harassed right out of that workplace. I wish you well and salute your planning.



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