Jan 11, 2012
I was diagnosed with HIV in the summer of 2010. I've since started treatment and kept my work life relatively clueless about the diagnosis and medications.
However, in May of this year, the CNS side effects of Atripla started to really shine through in my mood, and I started on SSRIs.
This last week I was called into the executives office and told that they've been noticing a trend in my performance and mood. My mood "tanks" (as well as my job performance) or my mood is way "high" (cheerful?) and productive.
They asked what was going on, and put me on an "improvement plan".
I confessed that I do have a disability according to the ADA, and have been working with my doctors to even out the side effects of my medication. I did not tell them I have HIV, not any specifics of what I am taking. I also asked them to point out any instances of behavioral problems, as the medication is seeming to make me oblivious to them (emotional "flatlining")
In response, they've offered a flex schedule for me and encouraged that I see my doctor to address what they are seeing.
My question is this. I do not have any FMLA papers filed, nor has my employer asked me to file a certification with my healthcare provider. Is this something I should require HR to do in order to make this less of a "disciplinary action" and protect my employment status?
Response from Mr. Chambers
You definitely need written confirmation of this new agreement with your employer, but I wouldn't "require" it. I suggest you tell them that with your emotional issues ongoing, you want to understand clearly what is expected of you and what changes they are permitting. Ask for a written document confirming the points you and they have agreed to. I'm not sure I would raise the FMLA issue specifically. It actually sounds as if they are being very supportive of your condition; who knows, they may offer you support that is more and lasts longer than FMLA requires and they may or may not require your doctor's confirmation. If they do, he or she need only write that you suffer from a "serious medical condition" that requires time off work.
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