Discussion with Boss this morning about absences

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my3suns
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
In the past two months I have used up all of my sick time b/c of UC and am now I am not getting paid for the days I miss.  My boss was sent a message from payroll regarding how much time I've missed.  He knows I have something going on, but definitely not the full extent.  How do I explain this to him w/o looking like I just compulsively miss time?  On a side note, I was in a terrible car accident in September 2007 and had to miss a lot of time b/c of that and now my UC is acting up.  I haven't even been here a year - one year anniversary in June.
 
Any advice is appreciated.
my3suns
 
Diagnosed with UC in September of 2006
My current meds are Rowasa and Lialda
Current state - Flaring


Bigphule
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Tell him the full and complete truth. Don't spare him any details and when he makes a move for the restroom to throw up, block his path and tell him "Hey if I have to live with it, you can hear me talk about it for another 10 minutes." *evil grin*

Maybe not the best advice in the world, but at least tell him whats going on.
Diagnosed UC 12/2007
 
 
Prednisone 15mg x 1/day ~ On going recent change 4/3/2008
 


suebear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I also recommend you get a note from your doctor and have it placed in your personnel file.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


GardenerJames
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
If your company is big enough this should probably be handled by the HR department. I think it would be helpful to talk to your boss about it too. I had to tell people about it when I got sick and they were very understanding. Don't be embarrassed to talk about it, or if you are embarrassed get over it! You're gonna have this for a long time.
James
Asacol 4 tabs 2x daily www.myspace.com/gardenerjames
Forvia once a day - Probiotic twice daily - Methotrexate 3 pills once a week - Actonel once a week
Calcium supp. - 1 mg Folic Acid daily - Omega-3 once daily
13th Remicade infusion End of April


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I told my boss when I thought I was going to have to start remicade, she was amazing, she had no idea how sick I had been, she got me a laptop so I could work from home when I needed to so I would not have to use up all my sick time. Come to find out she was also looking at remicade for a condition she has (different from digestive) and both of us ended up not going on it.

I have not had to miss much work, but I would definitely let them know what is going on.

I hope you get the same support I got from my boss and company.
Beth, 32 ~ Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ in remission
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 10mg 1xday (taper 5mg a week from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalpril 20mg 1xday, Fursomide 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
Pre-Diabetic from Prednisone use - Low carb/sugar diet & exercise.


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 4/23/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
My heart goes out to you !

I am in a flare and have not been at work since March 6th. My boss seems to understand but the longer I am off I start to wonder of he is going to think I am just "milking" it or what. At the same time I find if you just tell them that you have Colitis and they ask you what it is I just say it's very closely related to Crohns disease and usually that tells them all they need to know. Most ppl know someone who has Crohns and they can relate to that easier than to the word Colitis.

Just a thought
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Prednisone 5MG 3 per day for next 10 days
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 4/23/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I started by telling my boss that I have a chronic medical condition thats making life very difficult. Then, when I found out I was going to be hospitalized, I gave him more details - what the condition was, some detail, etc. I'll give anyone details if they ask - I just try to gage what they can handle :)

Let us know how it goes!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
 
40mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate


Bennie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 4/23/2008 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Sorry you are going through this now. I know in the past there have been posts about not saying too much when you first apply for a job. However, now you are into a flare and need the time. First, I would definitely get a doctor's note. Second, I think it is time to explain UC to your boss (and HR and anyone else who needs to know).

I know my daughter is still young and only has a part-time job but she started in August 2006 and was first hit with UC in September 2006.  Because it was so new, she would call and say she wouldn't be in for the week (10 hours at the time) but would probably be better by the following week. Well one week turned into 2 which turned into 3, etc. until it was 9 weeks later. She is on her 3rd flare and still has her job (albeit it isn't a tremendous problem for them if she isn't there).  Once we understood UC, we have been very open and upfront about it to her job. Exactly what it is, what happens, etc. The funniest thing to me is that they always ask questions about it and she works in a library! I always want to say...LOOK IT UP! eyes


--Mom of bratcat (17 years old)--
Daughter bratcat was diagnosed with pancolitis October 2006
Current meds:
Asacol - 4 pills/3Xday, 2 tabs 6-mp/1.5 tabs 6-mp every other day, 50 mg prednisone
 
11/14/06 - started prednisone; 1/28/07 - finished prednisone!
3/3/07 - began to taper off hydrocortisone sloowwly! Summer 2007 - slowly began tapering Rowasa. 9/07 -- flaring? Nightly Rowasa. 9/21/07 -- added hydrocortisone enemas. 9/30/07--added prednisone. 10/31--started 6-mp, stopped the enemas. Started lowering prednisone. 3/08-another flare!


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 4/23/2008 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
There has been some info about this in past posts. If your company has an HR department or person, that's the first person I would talk to. You can look up info online about FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) for your state. Under FMLA, you have job protection if you need to be out for a medical condition. If the company has disability insurance, you should be eligible for that as well.

Best case scenario for someone flaring and needing a flexible schedule is probably partial disability payments while being covered under FMLA. That is, you get paid some percentage of your salary for the days you don't work and your job is protected for a certain number of absence days. (Usually 12-16 weeks, which can be taken in increments as small as 15 minutes, I think.)

You are not under any obligation to explain the details of your illness to your boss. You can have HR handle it or you can just say that you have ulcerative colitis --it's chronic and you're doing the best you can to deal with it but sometimes you have to miss work. No one needs to know gory details unless you feel like you want to discuss it with them.

Good luck with this. It's not easy but hopefully you have an HR person who can help you figure out the best course of action.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


~ChristieAnn67~
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 4/24/2008 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone here...you should tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  But also would advise to definately contact your boss or HR dept to inquire about the FMLA paperwork.  I have it in my personnel file,  and whenever I have to call in to my boss sick and its related to my UC<  she just lets our payroll person know that its under FMLA, and I don't get penalized.  Sure if i'm out of PTO (paid time off) I don't get paid,  but at least I won't lose my job. or get written up. another thing to think about...(I had to learn this the hard way)....when I was so sick before my hospital;ization I kept trying to come into work and would have to leave early ,  well,  If I had just called in all those days,  I would of qualified for short term disability (and got some $$),  but because I would come in here and there, then,  when I was hospitalized,  and forced to stay out for a week and half or so,  I didn't get paid for any of those days.   so look into your short term disabilty requirements as well.   You may not need it now,  but be sure to be informed for when you may. 
                                          ~Christie
41 yo RN, happily married, with 2 beautiful daughters, Tianna(14 yo) and Alyssa(10 yo).   Diagnosed L sided Ulcerative Colitis in Jan '04 and Diabetes type 2 in June '05. (Currently in complete remission thanks to Remicade!!)
                                         Medications
Remicade infusions ~ 11/6/07, 12/6/07, 12/20/07, 2/14/08, 4/10/08, 6-MP 100mg daily, Pentasa 500mg twice a day, Lantus insulin 20 units daily, Amaryl 2mg daily, multi-vitamin daily, Calcium daily, B complex vit daily,  and pro-biotics daily.


Severin
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 4/24/2008 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Be completely honest;
Get a letter from your doctor;
Provide your own letter with web references to things such as Wikipedia's UC article.

Can be good to let your work mates know as well. Makes the boss look like a complete arse-hole if he fires you ;-)
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, Technomage
  • 28yo male, Australia. Diagnosed at 16yo. Currently enjoying severe pan-colitis.
    - 2xColazide, twice a day; 25mg of 6-MP a day; 1xAllopurnol;
    - 1xteaspoon of Metamucil 3 times a day;
    - 1xBIOCeuticals UltraBiotic 45 per day + 1xSB FlorActiv per day.


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 4/24/2008 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I disagree with Severin on the issue of providing web references. It's not your job to educate your boss or your company about UC. People can google it themselves and read up about bloody diarrhea if they are interested. No one needs to be bothered with the specifics, just the way that if someone went to her boss and said I need to be out of the office for pregnancy complications she would not be asked by her boss what the complications are.

To qualify for FMLA leave or for short-term disability payments, you will probably be given a form to give to your doctor to fill out. I would wait to see what is required. It's not something you should worry about.

Also, we all seem to have picked up on the feeling that your boss won't understand. Is that how you feel? If your boss is not someone you want to discuss your health with, you are not required to. There are probably many instances of people going out on medical leave where the details are kept private by HR and the direct manager doesn't know the details.

Any reasonable employer in the U.S. should be afraid to fire someone who comes forward as being sick since they open themselves up to potential lawsuits and bad PR. I don't know if it's against the law to fire someone who has UC but I bet your boss doesn't know either. :)
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
5ASA drugs don't work for me. Canasa seems to make me worse.
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


Bigphule
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 4/24/2008 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Well they once the FMLA is involved they can't fire you for being sick unless you go beyond the protection of the FMLA. However that wont stop them for dismissing you for any and all other "reasons".
Diagnosed UC 12/2007
 
 
Prednisone 15mg x 1/day ~ On going recent change 4/3/2008
 


my3suns
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 4/24/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, I spoke with my boss today and he was very nice about the situation. He advised me to look into intermittent family leave as soon as possible. My year anniversary isn't until June, so hopefully I will be OK for the next month. I am still having a flare, but Rowasa and Lialda seem to be really helping. Basically, he told me he wants me to get better and not worry about missing days for UC. I didn't go into great detail b/c I really didn't need to. I just told him that I have a chronic disease and it causes pain, weakness, fatigue, etc. I feel much better now knowing I got it off my chest.
my3suns
 
Diagnosed with UC in September of 2006
My current meds are Rowasa and Lialda
Current state - Flaring


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 4/24/2008 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Whew! Glad to know that went well.

I know that my boss now, and the one before liked periodic updates as to how I was feeling. They typically ask - taking that pressure of off me.

I hope things keep getting better. I know even a tiny bit each day is such a relief!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring :(
 
40mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate

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