Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

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Latest post 11-08-2008 9:29 PM by Cica. 6 replies.
  • 11-02-2008 7:22 PM

    Question [=?] Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    Long Post/ History, bear with me...

    January 31, 2008.... Grand Mal Seizure @ work (I work in a Glass Plant). Diagnased with Epilepsy as a result of previous Menningitis (Scar Tissue).

    My Employment is shift work and is 12 hours daily, we rotate shifts every two weeks, days to nights.

    Breakthrough Seizures began in April 08, Neuroligist began upping dosage of drugs, didn't help. (did thid twice) Finally In May 08, He had me ask Employer to be place on a straight shift for 30 days to see if this would stop seizures. Employer refused , he again upped dosage of meds. I immediately began hallucinating, went on medical leave attempted suicide, had to change meds, blah, blah, blah.......

    Filed complaint with EEOC, June, 08, finally went back to work August 08, although they were not to happy about it (they have wanted me gone since first seizure). Found out last week that EEOC formal Investigation has finally gotten to Anchor, when I was approched by Union President.

    My question is this, what happens from here with EEOC?

    I have talked with them on phone (to see if there was reason to investigate) Have gotten Formal Complaint in mail to sign & return (last month) received dated & timed stamped copy back from EEOC(last month).

    I am afraid they are going to issue a Right to Sue letter or something and I don't know what I would sue them for?

    Any help sorting this out would be appreciated (I'm really not this stupid, I blame it on the Anti Seizure Meds).
  • 11-02-2008 8:45 PM In reply to

    • Cica
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    re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    "I am afraid they are going to issue a Right to Sue letter or something and I don't know what I would sue them for?"

    If I'm understanding your situation correctly you have returned to work. If it is still the Dr's instruction that you work a specific schedule, and if the employer is refusing to comply, the claim could possibly be discrimination based on disability.

    Prior to receipt of the right to sue, it would be to your benefit to start contacting employment law attorneys.

    I don't believe there is a branch office in Oklahoma, but you also might try contacting EFA for some guidance:

    http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/

    Here's when it can be considered ADA protected, and examples of what could be construed as reasonable accommodation:

    http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/epilepsy.html

    Good luck.
  • 11-03-2008 8:16 AM In reply to

    • DPH
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    • Joined on 10-08-2001
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    Question [=?] re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    "...when I was approched by Union President."

    Why were you approached by the union president? Did he want to help or what?

    Could your union offer any assistance under your CBA?

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 11-03-2008 2:40 PM In reply to

    re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    When I was off work for two months February & March 08, my Employer would not let me come back on "Light Duty" (No Heigts Restriction) as my situation was not work related.

    Their policy is no light duty for Medical Leave, only for Work Related Injuries.

    Well, since I went back in March 08, there have been several people that were out on Medical Leave that were allowed to come back on Light Duty.

    And When I was refused the thirty (30) day straight shift in May/ June 08, because of it being a preferential shift due to seniority (even though they had letter from Neurologist requesting such) I was still denied, and later someone below me in senority was put on straight days and is still on straight days.

    I did complain to the Union from March 08 until August 08 and their response was "That's not fair"

    We do now have a new Union President, as of September, don't know what thats worth.
  • 11-03-2008 3:21 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 10-08-2001
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    Have your union file a grievance immediately and see what happens. Perhaps a meeting with the Union's legal counsel would help also.

    If you have a union, you might as well use it.

    Good luck

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 11-08-2008 5:18 PM In reply to

    re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    My employer did practically the same thing to me. 14 hours a day, 5 days straight...3 times in one month. Had my first seizure in two years due to it. EEOC says I should basically have a sign that say "EPILEPTIC" and that just asking for a schedule that my neurologist recommended doesn't count.
  • 11-08-2008 9:29 PM In reply to

    • Cica
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    • Joined on 09-23-2003
    • Posts 6,520

    re: Employer Refusing Reasonable Accomodation - Epilepsy

    The OP has a seizure disorder known as tonic-clonic. Those and complex-partial are the most difficult to control, and are different from simple-partial or typical absence seizures.

    Regardless, each complaint is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. I find the EEOC statement to you a little absurd--or misunderstood. You might consider contacting an attorney for review.

    As a former board member of the Epilepsy League in my area, we would attempt to assist individuals from an educational standpoint regarding issues they faced with employers, police, DMV, etc.

    I encourage the OP to contact EEOC and the Epilepsy League nearest to him.
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