|VERY NEEDED ADVICE!!!
Feb 18, 2004
i was diagnosed hiv in october 2002 and was devastated and was put on medication wich in turn made me very sick as my body struggled to adjust to the meds ..meanwhile i have been on my current job for 18 yrs with a major shipping company during the time i was adjusting to my meds i was constantly nauseated and vomiting whereas i missed days like never before in my 18 yrs of service and my boss at the time wanted to know what was going on and was this going to be ongoing so she could plan accordingly and also reminded me of the company attendance poliy so i broke down and told her of my hiv status ,she was very sympathetic and very caring and concerned and didnt question again after about me calling in sick but showed nothing but care..meanwhile they bought another guy in to my station that became my manager we got along great no problems(never discussed my health with him) whatsoever until this past octotober when he took a company buyout.recently me and a co worker had lunch and i was absolutly SHOCKED as she told me that that particular manager told her full details about my hiv status on a checkride months before he took a buyout i have never been so angry!! what if anything can i do?? this is a major fortune 500company!!any advice???
| Response from Ms. Breuer
Direct supervisors, unlike HR professionals, rarely receive training in maintaining confidentiality, even though they should, because they represent the company. I don't understand why you didn't involve an HR professional in your absenteeism situation, but since you didn't, you handed over confidential information to someone who didn't need it and obviously didn't know how to handle it.
Yes, the unwarranted disclosure is a breach of law. I recommend that you now approach the director of HR, remind that person of his/her duty to keep your information confidential, explain what happened and insist on workplace HIV education for all managers and supervisors in your company. If you chose instead to sue (a course I don't recommend, since it can eat up five years of your life), you probably could win a substantial settlement for this--if your friend is willing to take the stand and cite the supervisor as the source of the disclosure.
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