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THE ADA and Special Accommodations
Jan 28, 2000

Can asking for special accommodations to adhere to taking HIV medications fall under the ADA? What protections are afforded when asking for special accommodations? What does an employer need to do to accommodate a special request to satisfy ADA?

Response from Ms. Gabriel

In June,1998, the Supreme Court ruled that both HIV and AIDS qualify as disabilities under the ADA. In order to take advantage of the Act you should have your doctor write a note to your employer (ideally, the Human Resources person) stating that you have a disability under the ADA. Keep in mind, you are under no obligation to disclose the nature of your disability and,if you don't want it known to your employer, you should make sure the doctor is aware of this. The note must also state the limitations that are prompting you to ask for reasonable accommodation. For example, if you are especially sick in the mornings and need to begin your work day later, state that. Understand that, to qualify under the ADA, you must be able to complete the "essential functions" of your job -- with or without accommodations. You must decide, with your employer, what those accommodations should be.

Good luck!

Lynne Gabriel



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