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 Post subject: Freaked out. PLEASE help
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:28 pm 
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Hi,

I just received a job offer for a large aerospace company and they require drug testing and background checks for every employee that gets hired, which I'm fine with. My job is strictly company office work with no manual labor whatsoever - I won't even be anywhere near the production floor. I was asked to fill out a 'health questionniare' the other day and I was asked to list all of the prescription medications I am on and why I'm taking them. I'm not going to lie as I shouldn't have to, so I listed buprenorphine. But, I noted it was for pain, not addiction. Today I got a voice message from a nurse with their company saying she needed to speak with me. I have a couple concerns:

1. Can an employer demand to know WHY you are taking a certain prescription medication? I found it to be odd and invasive. I don't feel comfortable discussing this at all. How do I handle this?

2. Can an employer retract a job offer if to taking suboxone for addiction/as a recovering addict? Am I in jeopardy here?

3. Can an employer demand you don't continue take suboxone if you are working for them?

I have waited a long time for this opportunity and I already feel attacked/judged. Blah.

ANY help/advice would be so appreciated.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:05 am 
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I am no lawyer but IMO they violated HIPPA laws asking you to provide confidential medical history. If the industry is in the medical field then they may have a waiver, but still, it is no one business what medicine you are on. I would have simply left that part blank knowing it's against the law. An aerospace company is not a health care business.

Crystal, do some more research on this one. I do wish you would have asked prior to divulging your medical history. It is none of their business! And the law is on your side.

A quick talk with a lawyer may be in order too.

Just my 2¢ worth.

rule

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:22 am 
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Thanks Rule. I would have left it blank, but considering I was going to be drug tested anyway I wanted to be safe and let them know I take it. And I shouldn't HAVE to lie anyway!! The stigma behind all of this is revolting. I think it would be worse if they found it via drug test and I had been dishonest. I know most drug tests don't test for buprenorphine, but you never know.

I haven't gotten back to the lady yet, I am going to call her tomorrow, but not before I call my doctor's office and explain them the situation and if they have any advice on what I am obligated to divulge. I am HOPING it's just because they need proof of perscription for that and one other medication I am perscribed (Adderall for ADD) from my doctors, which I would understand. If she tries to press further though and asks the reason behind the Suboxone I am going to refuse to answer. There's no way this is legal.

As I mentioned, it's large aerospace manufacturing company that's government-affiliated, thus the reason behind the extensive background checks + drug testing, etc. I don't think it justifies this invasion of privacy, however. It's totally inappropriate and grossly unprofessional for them to demand I tell them my personal medical history. I am hoping my doctor can give me some advice.

I'll update after I figure it out... :/ Any other input would be so very appreciated.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:32 pm 
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crystal13,

Your post has my blood pressure up. It's called invasion of privacy and they had no right to even ask you. As far as a drug test is concerned I would have written nothing, not even Buprenorphine. If they question you afterwards then they can see the script, but not the reason for it.

Things sure are different from company to company. I worked for the government for over 30 years. (P.O.) Back when they hired me there was no drug testing available. Now I'm retired and recently got a license to teach all phases of drivers education, traffic safety school, behind the wheel training, and last but not least, teach a D.U.I. class approved by our court system. All the while I'm taking Suboxone. No one asked what I take and no drug test either. Same thing with a concealed carry license. The Feds do not have access to my medical records so no problem there. That is why your post has me pissed off. It's a clear violation of your privacy and they should know better. Drug test first, discuss later, that's how it should work. As long as you take it legally and properly it is not an issue for employment.

Sorry for the long rant. Please keep us informed of what happens.

rule

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:37 pm 
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I imagine they ASK so that the applicant VOLUNTEERS the information. Somewhere on the form there must have been a disclaimer that the reason for taking the med was optional. I work for a state hospital and they wouldn't even let me explain when I was being hired why I tested positive for morphine and percs. They just wanted a letter from my doctor that stated that I would not have any problems performing my work while taking that medicine. In other words, they were not I a position to decide whether I should be taking my meds, just that I wouldn't be impaired. To handle it any other way would expose them to a lawsuit. I had even brought my prescription bottles along to show, since I knew I'd be positive, and they didn't want to see them...just a letter from the doctor treating me say everything would be alright.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:26 pm 
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For me personally, I too would NOT tell them what I am taking.

I know that you are trying to do the honest thing here and be upfront .

However, there are way too many stories of people divulging there medication history (voluntarily ) and there being a stigma attached. Trust me you are better off keeping that information to yourself.

Unless the world changes and this medication is well accepted by all, it is better to just keep it private. I truly wish things were different and there was more acceptance and education for this treatment.

Please post on what happens. Hopefully it is nothing and you are worried for nothing. At least I sure do hope so.!
Good luck with your NEW job!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:04 pm 
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Hi all,

I just got off the phone with the company nurse and sure enough, "I noticed you are taking buprenorphine and I wanted to talk a little bit about that. What's the reason you are taking this medication? Is it for pain? Something else? Sometimes people use this medication for addiction."

I stood my ground though and said something along the lines of 'while I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm not sure why I'm taking the medication should matter and I do not feel comfortable divulging my medical history. I am more than happy to provide you with a doctors note and proof of script so that you have everything you need.'

I could tell it caught her off guard and she basically ate her words after that. She asked me a few follow up questions such as "Will you need any special accommodations to perform this job", etc and I answered those I was comfortable with. She assured me that my employer will not be notified of my medical history/prescriptions, but I still didn't buy it.

I hope this story helps anyone in a similar situation going forward. You can be confident to know that you should NOT feel pressured to divulge such information as it should be kept between you and your doctor. It's invasive and illegal. Period.

Thanks for all of the input:)

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Crystal ❤

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge" - Psalm 91:4
–Robert Green Ingersoll


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