|New Employment opportunity & Drug testing
Aug 29, 2004
I am a 44 year old male who recently tested Pos for HIV just this past March. I am showing no signs and feeling great. At the advice of my doctor I expect to start treatment very soon. We are still discussing treatment options.
I am being recruited by a new employer who is putting my through extensive testing. I will be meeting with a Management profiler who will conduct a mental fitness evaluation for potential job evaluation. I expect soon they will request a physical examine and drug test. The position is an executive level position in a medium size corporation based in Pittsburgh, PA. Annual sales are around $600,000.
Do I need to disclose my HIV status? And the second part is when I go for the Physical and drug test I suspect meds will be discovered. How do I address this with my new potential employer?
Thanks, Guy in a dilemma he never thought he would be in!!
| Response from Ms. Breuer
Dear Guy in a Dilemma,
You're in less of dilemma than you think. Pre-employment physicals are done to answer only one question: are you fit to work? It's a yes/no, not a "here's what we found" event. Drug tests are looking for street drugs. Ask your pharmacist if anything you're taking could yield a false positive on a drug test. If s/he says yes, ask for the name of an alternate test that will give an accurate answer. Yes, they exist. When you show up for the drug test, hand the tester a note indicating the name of the alternate test that you need.
Privacy is a precious, hard-won right and thrives only when protected. Protect yours by learning your rights at work. You don't have to disclose your diagnosis at work for any reason, since the job you're applying for doesn't look as though it involves doing surgery. If you do decide to disclose eventually, please run that decision through your mind as well as your emotions, and let your mind win. Then wait a few months before actually disclosing. Let them get to know you first through your performance.
See? You're not in a pickle after all. Congratulations and nice work!
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