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HR & Doctor's note
Jul 12, 2001

I have been taking 1.5 hours of sick leave 2 times a week for physical therapy, using the reasonible accomodations part of ADA. Things are going well and I am responding well to my therapy ... combating the side affects of my meds. I have been on this schedule for a year and accomplish my job w/out any problems. My supervisor has been "mostly" supportive, but w/an "edge". She recently asked me for a note from my doctor saying that the "appointments" were necessary. I haven't disclosed anything about my HIV status. The question is, my doctor is part of the Infectious Disease Division of a Medical Center, and his letter head states this. His receptionist also answers the phone by saying "ID". I will be asking him for a letter during my next visit. How do I handle this information. I'm sure he has written other notes and letters that deal w/my concerns. Many thanks!

Response from Ms. Breuer

This is a great question, and I congratulate you for asking ahead of time instead of just hoping for the best. I suggest that you call your doctor's office and ask whether your next note from your physician, which your supervisor has every right to ask for, could be written on general medical center stationery rather than on your physician's own stationery, and signed with his name and medical degree but without his ID title. Explain that it's for your employer and your concern is confidentiality. If your physician's staff balks at this, put the request directly to your doctor. I'm betting that they have a few reams of "generic" stationery for use by multiple signers of documents, or for purposes that don't quite fit anyone's letterhead in particular. Such letterhead would have the name, address, phone number and logo of the medical center, but would not name the Infectious Disease Division or your physician's role in it.

Congratulations on making reasonable accommodation work. They're lucky to have you on board. If this suggestion doesn't work, please write back to me, okay? Good luck!



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