|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.
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