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Preemployment Physical Pressures
Dec 29, 2004

First, please accept a very very heart felt thank you for participating in and making this Forum possible.

I had a Pre Employment Physical today for a Nurse Case Manager position for a Medical Group, and at the end of the many forms, was the question "Do you have any other medical condition not previously mentioned. If yes, please specify," I answered "a stable medical condition non-reportable per the Americans with Disabilities Act." All the previous questions were very specific and easily answered without any difficulty.

When the Healthcare Provider conducting the physical came to my answer, she asked if I wished to discuss the medical condition. I answered "I do not wish to disclose a stable medical condition that is non-reportable per the ADA," She then asked if this medical condition interfered with my current position, which is very similar to the position I was offered. I said "Not in anyway," (cubicle dweller). Then asked "Does my condition require any special allowances to perform my current job." I said "Not in anyway," which I later added "I may require infrequent Doctor Visits."

She Charted all the responses with "good spin," which totally made me feel better about the whole thing. She then asked again if I wished to discuss the medical condition, and I repeated the mantra, and then we went on to other things.

When we started reviewing my vaccination record, it was noted that documentation for the second of my MMR vaccinations was missing, and she stated I would be required to receive the second shot.

I sat there thinking, the live virus vaccination is contraindicated for persons with HIV, and how the heck did I get my current job with out it. I said "Isn't that a live virus?" which in a sense "tipped my hand" but I do not want to have another live virus in my system. She said she would have to ask to see "How required it would be."

She left the room and came back with "immunity to Rubella, or documentation of two vaccinations is a condition for employment," and I would have to provide a Rubella titer lab in it's place or receive the vaccination, and again she asked if I wished to discuss the medical condition. I repeated the mantra, and said I would look into obtaining the titer.

We completed the physical, she left the room again while I was getting dressed, and when she came back she got very pushy using high pressure that I normally relate with car salesmen.

She then repeatedly asked the question in different ways, giving scenarios of Cancer, HCV, and HIV. I stuck with the mantra. She then said she would have to ask her manager to speak with me but she felt unable to complete the physical and make a recommendation to HR without knowing what the medical condition was. The Employee Health manager came in and explained everything is confidential and remains in the room however it is documented and is only used to make the recommendation if I'm able to perform the duties of the job to HR, and she asked what the medical condition was. I stuck with the mantra.

The Manager stated they would not be able to make a final employment recommendation, but will report what they had to HR, and that I should expect a call from HR to discuss everything later that afternoon. I never received the call.

I'm not a confrontational person and after hours (literally) of getting asked the same question in different ways, and answering with the same answer, I was rethinking whether I should even work there, although the offer is significantly higher then what I'm getting now and the benefits are better.

I "m sure I have some legal recourse to this entire thing if they deny me employment for whatever reason, but I'm wondering if it's really worth it. I trust HR reps as much as politicians, and I don't see this going anywhere, but a law suit and if I do end up working there, I believe there will be a big black mark somewhere in my file or somebody's memory (i.e. I will be working in the same building as HR and employee health and an ideal world is apparently just an idea).

My plan is to call HR tomorrow and if they decline employment, request it in writing and call the local GLBT center for a lawyer referral. Tell my currently employer I wish to keep my job (already said more then happy to keep me), and see what happens.

Should I be doing anything else?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Whew! You could walk onto a used car lot and keep your sales resistance intact anywhere right now! I'm impressed.

I connect the most with the question you pose about whether you'd want a job where they push the legal line so hard. They can't ask you to specify the medical condition, and unless they're a new, tiny company where the entire HR department is the owner's cousin, they should know that. I agree with your plan of action. Sometimes going through a job application process is like dating--a great way to learn who you DON'T want to spend more time with.

My warm congratulations on staying with the mantra. I'll bet you drove them crazy. They sure deserve it.

HIV+ working in Hospital
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