Question

I've applied to a Federal Law Enforcement Agency, been extended a conditional offer of employment, the whole nine yards. Here's my question, on the medical testing forms I'm required to bring for my exam, under Genitourinary it specifically references "Venereal Disease". Now I'm fairly certain I've not been exposed (I can count my sexual partners on one hand and they were all as fastidious about testing as I am) but that line gives me the willies. Does this mean they will be testing me for HIV? Or for your run of the mill STD's?

Answer

Congratulations on the conditional job offer. You are on your way to your new job.

Conditional job offers can be an important protection against discrimination for people living with HIV who are looking for employment. To ensure that all job applicants have equal opportunity in the hiring process, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA specifically prohibits a prospective employer from asking disability-related questions prohibits a prospective employer from asking disability-related questions or requiring a medical examination until a conditional job offer is made.

After a conditional job offer, an applicant may be asked disability-related questions and be required to have a medical examination, as long as everyone in the job category is asked for the same medical information.

The law doesn't limit the questions or the scope of the physical. You may be asked to have an HIV test. You can't, however, be denied the job based on the results of the physical, unless you have a condition that is job-related. For instance, you can't legally be denied a truck-driving job if you have HIV or a run of the mill STD, but you won't get the keys to the truck if your vision is severely impaired.

All of the information that is collected must be kept confidential. Medical information may not be included in the employee's personnel file.

Once you have the job, the employer may only require periodic medical examinations that are related to the job. The truck driver may be asked for have periodic eye exams, but not regular HIV testing.

The ADA covers workplaces where at least 15 people work. Employees at smaller workplaces can check out their state or local anti-discrimination laws to learn their rights.