|Hep C Pre Employment Denial
Dec 9, 2013
I have had Hep C since 1987, been gainfully employed ever since. Never asked for or needed any special accommodations. Not on any kind of treatment as well. I recently went to another employer and was offered a job providing I could pass the physical. I took the exams, xrays, blood work etc., and passed them all. The physician then begins quizzing me on the answer I gave on the sign in register as to having any diseases of the liver. I was asked if I was having any problems and I said no. I had to have a liver biopsy performed in 2006 as to establish I was in good enough health to work in a third world country. I passed the biopsy and physical and was issued a certificate of fitness. He then proceeds to demand copies of these items which I had no idea on how to get them as the certifying company was from South Africa. I lost the job position since he refused to complete the physical. I finally managed to get the documents and sent them to him. After review, he then requires to see a recent liver panel. I managed to locate one from 2010 and sent that. Now he is requesting a new one within at least a 30 day window and requiring this at my expense. It no doubt will be relative or slightly higher than the one I previously sent as the levels have been rather constant for many years now. My biopsy in 2006 was a grade 2, stage 0, of the 10 items on the liver profile on the SGOT and SGPT were elevated, 147 and 322 respectively. It was my understanding from all the legal forums I am now reading, that even asking me these series of questions and demanding I provide all of the documents was in violation of ADA Title 1. I have never gone through this type of discriminatory practice since 187 of which I contracted the disease as a ships medic. I am one of the rare few that at present and since 1987 has had no problems whatsoever and has passed physical after physical. My problem now is that because of this doctor and medical facility, i lost the previous job because of my difficulty in acquiring the documents in a reasonable amount of time. I am being stonewalled by the same physician to complete the physical with the constant requests for new tests and documents. I am almost sure the contractor that sent me there has no idea as to the reason I have not been approved other than a lack of requested documentation. I am seriously considering contacting the EEOC on Monday to seek mediation with the employer and filing charges against the physician and medical facility for violating the ADA Title 1 and acquiring a civil rights attorney to file suit for damages and to have all references of the Hep C stricken from my medical records at the center. This medical facility performs a huge amount of pre-employment physicals for other oilfield contractors so a failure of this sort will only result in further denials of employment. What should I do?
Response from Mr. Chambers
I'm sorry to hear about your issue. That should never have happened to you. You absolutely should seek legal assistance. Going to your nearest EEOC is a good alternative. You may also want to check this site to see if there is a legal services agency in your area.
Assuming your prospective employer is large enough to come under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they are prohibited from requiring a pre-employment physical until a firm job offer has been made. They can only withdraw that job offer if the exam shows that you are unable to perform the job.
Definitely seek legal help. You have suffered a loss, and deserve damages. The doctor and employer need to learn to obey the law so others coming after you don't go through the same thing.
Good luck, Jacques
Cigna LTD and FCE
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