ADA in RL rantings

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Sandy C.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 6/17/2006 2:28 AM (GMT -6)   
At work I have an intermittant medical leave and I use it. I use it more then I would like to but I can't work less days and still have benefits. It has always been my goal to get back to work full time on the self set stipulation that I don't call in for 6 months. The closest I have gotten is three months without calling in...
 
I work 4, 12 hour, days a pay period because I know I can't do a full time schedule. However, work is starting to get more anxious about the amount that I call in. I can understand their business point of view, but I am curious about the ADA of 1979 and the provisions it provides. As of right now, with my intermittant leave covers me for my MS. When I call into work I have to call a sick line then I have to call another woman to input my intermittant leave into the computer. If this is not done and inputted into the computer within seven days then it counts as an unscheduled time off, end of story. I keep up on this as much as possible, but some days get by as a UTO. I am worried that I will be fired because of this! There is a long trail of emails, one of them includes my boss asking when I called in for an entire weekend and how did I know I needed that time off in advance. I have been called into the Charge Nurses' office for my "absentism" where she showed me a list of days in the last year that I have called in (including when I was on Medical Leave) and pointed to 4 days that were marked as a UTO. Policy is vague on how many days is too many, but I think 5 days is the standard.
 
The point is, is that I feel like I am being harassed! Not one person has asked me if I am ok, or show any tone of concern nor should they. At the same time, I don't think I should be harrassed about it. Laws are created for a reason, and I know that I would not have a job with out the ADA of 1979.
 
Can they fire me even though I have a signed doctors note? I have not been sick in years and there is only one day that I have called in because I just wanted a day off. I didn't call in and use my intermittant leave that time.
 
Ok done with my ranting, I supposes I should get back to work now lol. If anyone has any input on this topic I would gladly like to hear what you have to say. OR has anyone else experienced this....
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Copaxone.


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 6/17/2006 2:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Sandy,  I understand your concern...I just have one question.  When you became sick did you file for the FMLA (family medical leave act)?  This is what is going to protect you from being fired due to your disability and needing to call in sick.  I am assuming that you work in a hospital or something close to that?  The Human Resources Director and your supervisor if they are aware that you have this disability (which it sounds that they are) should of advised you to file under the FMLA, funny how jobs don't do that...But here are some links for you to check out.

http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/adalinks.htm

http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/



Elisha

http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 6/17/2006 4:46 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm sorry you're having such a struggle to keep working.

Neither the Americans with Disabilities Act nor the Family Medical Leave Act are any sort of job guarantee, or job insurance.  And in order to evoke -- use -- either of them, you have some very specific requirements you must fill.  And yes, you can be fired from your job, even though you do have a disability, and even though you have disclosed that disability, and requested "reasonable accommodation".

Here are the legal steps you must take to evoke the ADA.  You have to disclosed to your boss that you have a disability, and as such, are requesting a "reasonable accommodation" to that disablity.  And you

have to provide your employer with a written statement about what that "reasonable accommodation" might be:  fewer hours (yet you'd still do the same work), or shorter hours spread out over more days, or doing the work from a sitting position, or ..

whatever might work for you.  Once you've disclosed that you have a disability, and asked for "reasonable accommodation"

(I put that in quotes because it is a specific legal phrase that carries with it particular legal requirements)

the boss has to consider -- note I said consider, not accept --

those "reasonable accommodations".  If he (or upper management) thinks you can do the same level of work with those accommodations, then they can let you do that.  If they don't, then you can be fired.

You are telling us that you have a certain number of sick days, and a certain procedure you must follow to take those days.  Unless your disability somehow interfers with your ability to "follow the rules" and take the steps necessary to use the sick days (calling in, calling someone else to enter it into the computer), you can be challenged about why you didn't do that.  It's an expectation of all employees, and the ADA doesn't excuse you from all employee expectations -- only those that you and your employer have agreed upon...in writing.  As for taking a week of sick leave "in advance" -- whether this is acceptable or not would depend entirely on your employee benefits manual, or procedure. Most companies cannot afford to have an employee gone for very long without it becoming an inconvenience for a lot of others -- scheduling, filling in for your absence, all that.  Most employers would question you being gone for a week, with or without a "doctors excuse".

If indeed you can't perform your job without taking more sick leave than is alloted to other employees; if indeed you can't perform your job, even with "reasonable accommodation" agreed to, in writing, between you and your employer -- then yes, you can be fired.

As for the Family Medical Leave Act -- you can use up those days (I've forgotten what the number is) for your own medical needs, but you need to know that they are unpaid. and once they're gone, they're gone.

I don't know what kind of work you do.  You might start looking around your place of employment to see if perhaps there are other jobs you can do more effectively, and without missing so much work,

or if indeed you might have to consider quitting, or working only part-time, or applying for SSDI, or some other alternative.

And no, they don't have any obligation to be concerned, or to make allowances for you, because you are disabled. The whole point of the ADA is to demand that employers treat people with disabilities the same as employees who don't have disabilities...not differently.

(No, I'm not a lawyer. But I have been a disabilities consultant, primarily with people with developmental disabilities, for the past 30+ years...)

 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Sandy C.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 6/17/2006 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank You both!

Just to clarify a few points...

I work part time with the least possible amount of days to maintain benefits.

I called in on a Thursday FOR Friday Saturday and Sunday ONLY. Only because I could not get into to see a doc and I had been told repeatedly to give as much warning as possible to provide for staffing issues. I realize now they don't want that much warning...

Yes I know about FMLA and I do follow all the procedures of my place of employment. It has been almost two years and the procedures seem to be quite complex, but I do follow them the best I can. My concern is that the "ball is dropped" at some point and there is little I can do about it. I don't have a problem following the procedures.

As for resonable accommodations, it has been my understanding that my employer has agreed to sick calls without reprimand. Every sick call that "slips through the cracks" is a diffrent story though. Other resonable accomadations that my employer has agreed to is working in an air cooled enviroment, and small frequent breaks on a regular basis (which is required by California Law for all employees). The later two have proven to only be words written on a piece of paper in HR.


Honestly, I think I am burned out. I am tired, I am confused about my life, and I am burned out at my job. I have been looking for employment else where, but I don't like to make major changes in short order, especially under duress. By January I hope to have a new job. Having only been a RN for almost 3 years, I am really starting to think that this IS NOT my calling in life. I love people. I love the people I care for and the work I do. I don't like politics, but you get that anywhere...
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Copaxone.


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 6/17/2006 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry Sandy & Uppity, your right that FMLA does not guarantee someones employment.  That statement was an error on my part due to typing too fast and not enuf sleep eyes

Elisha

http://www.healingwell.com/donate


 


my5cats
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 6/18/2006 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
This may or may not help you.  I was just helping someone else who needed to try to find medical benefits even though she was working.  She was not able to work enough to maintain benefits, but through this Medicaid program she was able to work and still get benefits through Medicaid.  Maybe this could help.  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/buyin.htm
Good luck!
Gayle
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