HIV and Negotiating Blood Tests for a New Job (Editor's Pick)

Question

Good Morning, Mr. Chambers. I hope everything is well. I have a question for you. I am in a selection process for a flight attendant position for AA. I have been in this process for so long, like two months. Now I am in the step where they are going to do me a drug, alcohol, and a blood test. I am a little worry about the blood test cause I am HI V + . Should I tell the Dr. Before he/she do the blood test that I have this status?. My status is going to contribute if they hire me or not? I will be really happy if you can help me with some advices. Thank you so much for your help. I will really appreciate it.

Answer

I assume that the blood test is part of a pre-employment physical examination. Under federal law (HIPAA) an employer cannot require a physical examination (including blood test) unless a formal job offer has been made. All the exam can do is show whether or not you are physically able to perform the job duties.

They are prohibited from doing an HIV test because being HIV+ alone is NOT a reason to withdraw the job offer. Chances are the blood test is only a test for drug use.

Answer the doctor's questions truthfully, as lying is grounds for not hiring you. He/she should not ask your HIV status, and you should question its appropriateness/legality if asked.

They will probably ask what medications you are on, and, again, you shouldn't lie. After listing them, tell the doctor "None of the medications will have an effect on my ability to perform the job duties."

If you are on HIV medication and, because of that, the doctor says something about HIV, just repeat, "That does not affect my ability to perform the job duties."

Feel free to ask the doctor what information will go to the employer. It should only be whether or not you are able to perform your job.

Good luck with the job, Jacques