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HIV + and Sick Days
Jun 2, 2001

Hi. I'm a (+) police officer, and have opted not to tell my employer of my condition. I work under a contract that gives us 15 sick days per year. Nowhere in the clause does it state that we must provide a DR. note for using these days, or that we must disclose why we are taking a day off. My problem/question is: At times I will se a sick day for a schedued DR appointment, or if I'm feeling fatigued, etc. When I call to report off, my supervisor always asks "What's wrong?" I then make something up like toothache, headache, etc. DOES HE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK WHAT TYPE OF AILMENT I AM CALLING OFF SICK FOR? I'm tired of making things up; I'd rather respond by saying none of your business...Thank you

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Your employer doesn't have the right to ask what type of ailment you have. Even if you have a note from your doctor, your doctor doesn't have to and should not disclose the nature of your illness. Your doctor only has to advise your employer of the length of time you will be unable to work or any work restrictions you might have. If your employer doubts what your doctor has said, he has the right to send you to his own doctor to confirm whether or not the absence is legitiimate or the work restriction is appropriate. However, even this doctor cannot disclose the nature of your illness to your employer without your consent. The next time your employer asks the nature of your illness, tell him that you prefer not to disclose what your ailment is.

Concerned Manager of HIV+ Employee
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