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Jan 13, 2004

The California bank I worked for was recently acquired by Citibank. They offered me a job and allowed me to bring over my 20 years of service.

At Cal Fed I felt secure and was quite open about my HIV status. Do you have any sense of Ciitbank's history with HIV+ employees?

Any tips or suggestions? I'm afraid that I haven't paid much attention to benefits in the past. I elected the disability insurance and maximum life coverage available without a physical. I was suprised to find out that I now had to pay for my own disability.

Thanks for any information you can provide.



Response from Ms. Breuer

Dear Ron, I don't have any information on Citibank specifically, but I CAN tell you that they're doing you a huge favor by having the disability insurance premium be something that you pay. Here's why: if you ever need the disability income, and they have paid the premiums for you, the income is subject to income tax. If you have paid the premiums, it isn't. Get the picture? The difference is enormous.

You didn't ask for advice about how to handle your current situation, but I'll give you some anyway. Learn all you can about company policy for people with any form of illness or disability. That will tell you what you need to know. As an employee, you may be able to access portions of the Web site that outsiders could not. Explore everything they say about benefits. If you keep your ears and eyes open, you'll hear the stories you need to hear that will tell you how others with HIV have been treated.

In the interim, it's always a great idea to focus on delivering excellent performance. Amass some eye-popping performance reviews and any condition you may live with is likely to fade in importance compared with the value you bring to the company.

Congratulations on managing a job change that didn't drop you into the ranks of the unemployed for a while. You don't need the stress, I'll bet. Nice work!

This is for Nancy
Going Back To Work

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