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Medical Exams for Conditioanl Emplyment Offers
Jul 10, 2003

I have a conditional offer of employment from a large pharamacuetical company (in NJ). I am HIV+ but am in good health otherwise and do not require meds. I have to take a medical exam. On the questionaire they have a long check list of medical conditions and I am to indicate if I have ever had any of these conditions (e.g., cancer, anemia, mumps, etc.). BELOW that check list asks the question: "Have you seen a health professional during the past five years for any reasons not mentioned here previously?"

I think I'm stuck here. If I lie and they catch it I don't get the job. If I tell the truth, who knows. Do I really have to disclose this information? Can they trace medical exam history through insurance or other means?

They are also doing a CBC blood test. I don' know if this will show anything that causes alarm.

Any help/information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!

Response from Ms. Breuer

Ah, big, intrusive employers. You're quite right: it's a very poor idea to lie on an insurance application form. Say "yes." When asked for what, reply "chronic manageable condition under control." Leave it at that. If, for some bizarre reason, they press you, ask a zillion questions. Why do they want to know? Who would have access to the information? How is the form filed? How is medical information kept confidential, in compliance with HIPAA? Do they have a policy of not hiring people with specific diagnoses? Is that legal? If they ask you what meds you take for this condition, you can honestly say "none." That should end it.

Nothing on a CBC will reveal your diagnosis. Good luck, and please write again if you run into difficulty.

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