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mandatory medical examination for preemployment as a professor
Jun 17, 2004

Hello: I have been offered and accepted a job as a tenured-track professor at a large State university in New York. when i was filling out the paperwork for medical insurance, life insurance, etc, i was told that all employees must undergo a physical examination from their medical team that includes a blood test. i had to sign a document in order to be employed that states that if they find some reason that i am not healthy to fulfill my duties, they can terminate my employment. i am HIV +, taking HIV medications, but healthy without any side-effects, but i am concerned due to this mandatory testing. i was informed that one person who refused to do the blood test was denied employment. do they have a right to demand i undergo an HIV test? i know that the ADA protects from discrimination, but i am concerned if this will be used against me for employment and/or their medical plan which kicks in after 2 months. Please help.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Carefully read the part about the blood test. It is illegal to test a non-incarcerated person for HIV without his/her permission, so you'd have to give explicit permission for that test to be used. It's hard to imagine why they would pay for a test they cannot legally use. No, they do not have the right to demand that you undergo an HIV test.

Also, being HIV-positive does NOT mean that you are not healthy enough to fulfill your duties.

This process is in all likelihood a drug screen. Check with your pharmacist to make sure that none of your HIV meds could trigger a drug test. If any of them could, ask for the name of an alternate test for the same drug that wouldn't be triggered, and ask that your blood be screened using that assay.

Enjoy your new job!



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