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My Employer is questioning my meds...
Feb 18, 2004

I recieved a telephone call from my employer 3 days ago questioning certain medications my doctor has prescribed for me which I have taken for years, I am HIV positive. The spokesperson for my employer now wants to speak with my primary MD about my meds. This spokesperson told me "since I pay for your health benefits, I have a right to this information" I feel this is forced disclosure of my HIV status. Do I have any recourse in this matter?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Oh, the rights people think they have because of the bills they pay!

No, your employer does not have the right to demand identification of your meds. Your employer does have the right to know whether your meds interfere with your ability to operate heavy machinery or the like. Those are two different issues.

Speak with your primary care provider and come to an agreement that s/he will discuss with your employer ONLY the impact--if any--that your meds may have on the performance of your job. Only after you have that agreement should you agree to a conversation between your employer (who is this spokesperson? a clerk in HR?) and your doc. Your doc has a legal obligation to stonewall the identification of your prescriptions. And your employer has an obligation to rein in this loose cannon.



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