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Job Gives Ultimatum
Feb 26, 1998

I was hired at my job in July 94 as an full-time employee.

In September of 95, my husband died, and I found out that

he had AIDS. I was of course suprise and devasted. My son

and myself had the Hiv test done, he came out negative and

I came out positive. When I got the resluts to everything

I realize I need cousiling for myself and I would not be able

to work full-time, and wanted to request leave of absent,so

I could get adjusted to a new lifesytle of living with HIV.

I brought this to the attention to my employeer.It was

suggest that instead of me taking the time off, would I

be interested in working part-time (20hrs a week). I agree

to this. Nothing was every put in writing. During the past

years that I been working part time I was told I need to put

up my schedule so they know what days I would be in then

later it came to put that I would come in just 1-5. Again

none of this was put into writing. All these things were

verable agreement. Now finally 2 years later my boss requests

me to return to a full-time schedule, that they can no longer

accomodate a part time employee in my postion of sales. To

please consider this request bearing in mind that 9-5 Mon-Fri

attendance, is the only acceptable schedule for this position.

This was also put in writing after the disscuion, because the

wanted a dession right then and there, and I told them I had

to think about it. Also in writing which wasn't discuss

was that, they said that they have been trying to work around

my short notice, part-time schedule. It has caused a tremendous

hardship for the rest of the staff, as well as ill will. If

I was to agree to do the full-time I must sign a docment

stating that. They also didn't give me any notice,and wanted

decision right away.

My question is: Is there anything I can do legally to hold my

job, being that I know that I cannot do 9-5 due to my medical

which they are fully aware off.I just want to know if I have

a legal leg to stand on if they let me go because I cann't

comply with working 9-5?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Your letter leaves a couple of questions unanswered, but I'll give you the best feedback I can based on your questions: First, are you aware that, unless your health prevents it, you certainly could work a 9 to 5 job with HIV? Do you know that you did not have to disclose your diagnosis to your employer? Are you getting good medical care from a health care provider who specializes in HIV? You can--whatever your insurance or lack of it, make contact with your local AIDS service provider to ask about medical care. In any case, you are entering a situation where you could easily be discriminated against, and you need to talk with a lawyer who understands HIV right away. You can probably talk to one for free, or for a very reduced fee. Call your local AIDS service organization and ask for a referral to a lawyer who works with them on HIV issues at work. Or call the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission at 800-669-4000. They have specialists in employment law and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do not hesitate. It is much easier to have a lawyer send your employer a letter outlining your needs and the law than it is to sue to get your job back. Your situation has already gone further than it should without a lawyer's help.

Nancy Breuer


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