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volunteer positions and disclosure
Jun 8, 2001

I have recently volunteered to work with the children at the church that I attend. I have been asked as part of the application process if I had any communicable diseases including HIV or AIDS. I know that this cannot be asked in a regular work setting but was curious about the legality of the church official asking this question. The other part is that are volunteer positions covered by the ADA and other disclosure legislation?

Response from Ms. Breuer

The church is way off the mark asking a question about HIV or AIDS. I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that even in a church setting, this question is out of bounds. Your medical information is confidential. They can ask if you have any medical limitations that would prevent you from doing the work they offer, but that's a yes or no question.

Your other question about volunteer positions is really good, and I don't know the answer. I'll find out.

In the meantime, if ever you are asked that question in a job interview (paid or volunteer), ask why the questioner wants to know. Mention that medical information is confidential. State firmly that you have no medical limitations that would prevent you from doing the job. But you're not required to answer it.



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