Would sending an email to your boss to clarify a medical condition fall under the ADA?

I spent 2 days recovering from a gynecological procedure for an std called molluscum contagiosum. When I came back to work, I was in a lot of pain and decided to go home. People were also noticing I was in pain. I explained to my supervisor, that I'm going home and she may get questions because I was in pain recovering from a gyn procedure. She asked if the condition was contagious. I said yes it was contagious. It was spread through skin contact or touching objects. I tried to add it couldn't be spread through normal working activities because it was an STD. She wouldn't listen. She told me to leave the office, she'd see under what conditions I could return to work and that all staff email would be sent saying someone had my condition. I sent my supervisor a clarifying email that this condition couldn't be spread through work activities. The email offended her and she stopped speaking to me. Would the email be my right under the ADA to clarify a disability? Is there a reference link?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If something is contagious, it is contagious. Regardless if it is an STD. If you used the toilet, you made CONTACT with the toilet seat. If you wiped yourself after using the bathroom, you made CONTACT with toilet paper, the sink when you washed your hands, and the paper towel dispenser when you went to dry your hands. If any of your co-workers are HIV positive or immune compromised in some other way, it doesn't require sex to transfer that particular STD. You had a surgery, which means opens wounds, which means a higher probability, in at least the "normal working activities" I listed that someone could catch this virus without sex. A very low probability, but everything I read suggests that all you need is SKIN contact, even if it is just an STD. That means, if you used the bathroom while you are at work, it is PROBABLE that you could have left enough of your virus behind. I've read enough to find out that you can pass it through bedding, sharing towels and even bathing together. And yes, this is the STD version. It makes sense to me that you if you can get this by sharing towels, you can pass the virus by wiping yourself, reaching for more toilet paper and transferring that virus all over that stall.

    I do not believe you have a disability. You have an STD. The ADA defines a covered disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." ADA examples of "major life activities" including, but not limited to, "caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working" You just don't qualify in my opinion. You are able to work as soon as you are healed. There is no accommodation violation. You had surgery, you are in pain, she sent you home, and you will recover. There is no major discrimination here. Your condition is listed with the CDC as being contagious. If you want to check for yourself, go to the CDC website. There is a guide for the steps employers should take with your particular viral infection. According to the CDC, it is NOT a condition in which you are disabled. It instructs employers to make sure that all papules are covered and as long as they are covered, they are able to work. Being that you have had a major surgery in an area that cannot be fully covered when you use the restroom, I understand her concern.

    I think you need to do more research on your own and realize that you have no case here. Your rights aren't being violated, and as I told you before, she is following their policy. Go home, heal, and if necessary, get a note from your doctor stating that your condition is cured.

    Your boss has a right to protect her other employees no matter how slim the possibility of you actually transferring that virus to someone else is. I suggest you get passed your hurt feelings and understand it is in your best interest that your co-workers are informed, and that you stay home until you are healed. Once you are healed, get a statement from a doctor saying you can return to work and that you are no longer contagious. That is all you can do. You are not disabled, you are just someone recovering from an operation with a contagious condition that is NOT permanent. It is my understanding that once they are removed, you are "cured". Just go home, heal and bring a note from the doctor.

  • 5 years ago

    HIPAA is meant to insure privacy of a medical patient. The employee has no legitimate expectation of "privacy" in the workplace. Under certain conditions, a court may consider the employer's notification of the other staff a justifiable & prudent action. If you wanted privacy, why did your spouse say anything on your behalf? Why isyour spouse involved in your workplace?

  • 1 decade ago

    its not a disability. its a very common viral skin infection that can be transmitted through sex, but not always.

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