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Is a history with CFS a barrier for employment?

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by Rowena Ilagan, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Rowena Ilagan

    Rowena Ilagan

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    Hello everyone, I thought this was the most appropriate forum to post this question. I was offered conditional employment to be an activities assistant for seniors. The management is requesting my medical records, which includes a mention of high EBV titers 3 years ago. One of the conditions for employment is having "no communicable diseases" and also obviously being able to fulfill the requirements of the job. I have improved enough to be able to do this kind of work, but I'm wondering if the EBV mention will be a barrier to employment. Your thoughts on this greatly appreciated!
     
  2. RebeccaRe

    RebeccaRe Moose Enthusiast

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    Massachusetts
    From a strict legal standpoint, it shouldn't be (at least if you're in the US). According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), your medical history and current medical conditions can't be held against you as long as you are capable of doing the essential duties of your job. That being said, there are many employers who violate this law. But at least you know that the law is on your side.

    I can understand why they are requesting your medical record, since they want to see if you have a history of communicable diseases. But that's also a bit tricky from a legal perspective, since your record contains a lot more information than that--information which you have the right to keep private. I wonder if, instead of giving management your medical records, you can instead get a note from your doctor stating that you have no history of communicable diseases. Since that is the only information they need, that is the only information they should have access to.
     
  3. TenuousGrip

    TenuousGrip Senior Member

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    It's a little bit more complicated in cases like Rowena's though:

    https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RS22219.html

    I think there are three answers here:

    1) The Senior Center's policy.

    2) What the law might say about your EBV antibody status.

    3) What your (or their) doctor would say.

    If your elevated titers have only ever been IgG (not IgM) then I think you have a case to make that nearly everybody carries IgG to EBV.

    But it's tricky.

    Many of us believe that elevated IgG is contributing to our illness even though many/most doctors believe it to be meaningless. If you believe that your elevated IgG is a significant component of your illness then it might be difficult to ask a doctor to attest that you're healthy and free from any sort of communicable illness. It would be akin to trying to have it both ways ... if you know what I mean.

    Best of luck !
     
    Sushi likes this.
  4. Magnum

    Magnum

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    Any updates on how this went for you, Rowena? I would think most adults would show some IgG elevations due to prior EBV exposures, so I don't think these employers would be concerned unless you had "traditional" markers of "active" infection, but it may depend on what your doctor's notes actually say? I hope it has turned out well for you either way!
     
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