May 7, 2012
I have just been diagnosed with HIV. Can I qualify for FMLA on my job because I need time off to cope with this life changing news?
| Response from Mr. Chambers
First recognizing you are HIV+ can be a lot to absorb and it certainly makes sense to spend some time adjusting to this new information, learning about the condition and all the available treatments, and coming back to realize you still have a long and fulfilling future.
Assuming you are otherwise eligible for FMLA, you would qualify as long as your doctor is willing document to your employer that you suffer from a "Serious Medical Condition." HIV, of course, certainly is a serious medical condition, but some doctors are reluctant to use that term if you are totally asymptomatic.
However, it is completely reasonable that you would need to take some time off to absorb this information, and hopefully have some short term therapy or join a group of newly infected to help you come to terms with it. Check with your doctor.
Remember, FMLA lasts only twelve weeks. Good luck, Jacques
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