HIV and FMLA paper work

Question

Can A DR reveal HIV status on FMLA paperwork?

Answer

It is really up to you to decide that and whether your employer requires it.

As I understand FMLA law, the doctor has to simply confirm you suffer from a "serious health condition." I would suggest that your doctor report simply "serious health condition as defined under FMLA" and see if it's approved.

Unfortunately, the employer may challenge that and want the actual diagnosis. The following site states: The following site states:

Diagnosis Disclosure May Be Required In order for individuals with HIV or AIDS to invoke FMLA protection, the disclosure of medical information to the employer may be required. Employers are not required to provide unpaid medical leave under FMLA if they are not informed that a disability or serious health condition exists. If an employee makes an employer aware of his or her AIDS or HIV infection, laws such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) require that information to be held in strict confidence.

It does appear that if the employer chooses to question the "serious health condition" statement, they do have the right for more detailed information in order to grant the leave.

This is one reason I recommend you deal with the highest level person you can comfortably talk to about filing for FMLA. They tend to know the confidentiality laws better.

If they don't accept the "serious health condition" statement, express concern about your medical privacy and inquire who in the company will have access to that information. It should be virtually no one except the person/department taking the request.

I do NOT recommend taking this to your immediate supervisor. All they need to know is you are on FMLA. He or she has no right to know more.

Good luck, Jacques