To TELL or NOT to Tell Your Employer of Disabling Diagnosis? Advice?

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posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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I am facing a battle this morning...For those who know my situation or prior thread of stating my new diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. PLEASE respond....or if you suffer a chronic debilitating disease and is unemployed I would love your advice!

I do not think I will be able to return to the nursing position I held prior to this diagnosis on a fast paced med surg unit at the hospital.... I know I could ask for accommodations upon my return, like less hours, more breaks etc/ due to the Americans With Disabilities Act, but wouldn't that require me to disclose my diagnosis to my employer? Should I??

I do not feel comfortable around my floor manager (we don't always see eye to eye), and I work in an "at will " state where I could receive my walking papers when I return from my Long Term Disability insurance, before I can request accommodations...

What should I do? Tell or not tell?? This is driving me crazy..........Nobody from my work knows about this, THAT I KNOW OF........

There are NOT many places I can work in my area without having at least a 45 minute drive...And even then should I disclose? It may or may not be obvious at that time, but I have relapsing and remitting type, I may eventually need to be out for a while; then wouldn't THAT employer be pissed???

Arghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just feel so torn and confused on what to do....If I don't work at least part time or 2 days a week, I will lose my car, my phone, my credit card bills will go unpaid, cable TV gone, etc etc...and all the other things I have grown accustomed to over the years...I fear losing my ability to eat correctly and not being to pay for my daily injections. I worry about my kids and husband and everything!!!! I am trying to maintain a positive attitude but reading things about nurses returning to work after this diagnosis is discouraging.....




posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by Starwise
 


It is illegal to fire someone for having a disability. I hope that gives you some answers. You should say something if you feel your disability will have some impact on your job.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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Your disability is not your fault, nor is it the fault of your employer or anyone else for that matter. Your disability is what it is, nobody can change it including you or your employer. Honesty goes a very long way. Be open and explain your circumstances. Educate them if they don't know, and most of all, be humble. If they offer to help, thank them and oblige. If they become selfish and ignorant, walk away from it. You don't need people like that in your life.
People with disabilities don't ask to be disabled, they just are for whatever reason. We're all human, we all have different needs in life, if they can't understand that, screw them. Good luck with your predicament, I'm sure they'll understand, it's a hospital for crying out loud.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by antonia
reply to post by Starwise
 


It is illegal to fire someone for having a disability. I hope that gives you some answers. You should say something if you feel your disability will have some impact on your job.



Its not illegal, for an employer to fire, for performance. This is a tough question, as employers are sometimes ruthless. They can always use the "performance" issue.........



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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I can relate slightly, i developed scoliosis as a teenager and by the time i was in my late teens, it had progressed so far that i had to have surgery.

I now have 2 metal rods and 3 screws in my upper back, which at times, can cause me pain in my muscles and tissue around it, and also means i sometimes make a turn in my sleep, that i cant actually make, leading to pain the next day.

For my first employer, i did not tell them for 1 month, until i had an issue with it, however i came to work anyway in severe pain, to "Demonstrate " i suppose, the problem i could occasionally have.
They were really nice about it, and sent me to the company doctor, who basically just asked if i needed anything special at the work place to help me out, and i got a table that could be raised and lowered with a button, so that i could stand up and work, if i wanted to (It was a desk job), and i was more or less allowed to take days off when needed (Without pay off Of cours), this may or may not however have caused them (as one factor of many factors mind you) to not renew my contract when it came up for renewal (There were also major cutbacks and firings going on when my contract was up for renewal).

I have just started in a new work place, and ive also had the problem of not knowing whether or not to tell my superiors, and ive come to the conclusion that, its my business and ill let them know if it starts effecting them (as in it starts effecting my ability to do my job), otherwise im not going to say anything.

I know its not as severe as MS however i hope i could help a little with my experience.

Namaste.
edit on 8/8/12 by WiseThinker because: (no reason given)
edit on 8/8/12 by WiseThinker because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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Starwise, work is a tool to manage finances in life so if I was you I would do whatever I could to maintain the position you have. If you feel you will have medical related issues in the future then MAYBE tell your employer that you have been getting tested for illnesses due to issues you have had which required you to take off work. Let the employer know, once you fully are aware of potential time needed off or further assistance you may need you will let them your employer know more detail if it may cause issues at work.. Afterwards I would just work and when I have to take off at least my employer had been updated so that they know your circumstances.

Again work is just a financial tool used to manage financial related activities in life so use it too your advantage. There are some WORKERS who have more responsibility related to their jobs in relation to public services and public management but their jobs usually have someone else depending on their presence/assistance/services like Military or LPD so of course they cannot tweak their jobs because someone else may be in danger if a police officer doesn't make it to their call or a soldier doesn't make it to their recon point on time ect. Your job is just as important working with the health sector but if you had to take off some days there would be chance for others to take your space. So with that try to take life a little easier don't let the job overwhelm your mind keep the job as long as you can to support your needs and let your employer know SOME details but not to the level where they will lay you off and have you financially more strained which can effect your health in a negative way from worrying too much.

I know it gets hard sometimes to remain totally positive but even if you manage to keep 1 person who worries about you feeling optimistic about you overcomming instead of less positive you are generating positive vibes.

GOOD LUCK Starwise :
:

NAMASTE
LOVE LIGHT ETERNIA*******
edit on 8/8/12 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by sonnny1
 


Nope, if your performance is related to a disability then they are just asking to get sued. the minute it passes your lips you are unlikely to get fired. People don't want to get sued and if you do fire that person you are in for trouble unless you can prove it was not related to the disability.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by antonia
reply to post by sonnny1
 


Nope, if your performance is related to a disability then they are just asking to get sued. the minute it passes your lips you are unlikely to get fired. People don't want to get sued and if you do fire that person you are in for trouble unless you can prove it was not related to the disability.


Im sorry to inform you, but employers can make up reasons. I have seen it , with my own eyes. Proving anything in court, always costs money. Usually, the ex-employee, is already in dire straits, because of their medical issues, that they don't have the time, or strength, to fight the issue. Its sad, actually. An employer can say its a cost saving issue. They wont do it right away, but 6 months down the line, they will.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by antonia
 


I have read on other forums of nurses who were given walking papers after they returned from LTD. The reason was that the hospital had to hire someone else to cover the position.....

My worry is that they could use MS symptoms as a reason for thinking I would be unsafe to act as a bedside nurse, that my judgement and critical thinking skills could be an unknown danger.

Also I know the level of how fast pace my job is. Honestly I do not think I would make it a full shift (at this time) I just relearned how to walk without a cane this week.....I officially have until December to be ready to go back to work...Should I just ride it out as long as I can before I tell?

Our hospital occupational nurse has the ability to know my diagnosis as she is in charge of starting FMLA with human resources...She has a lot of power and is also supposed to keep confidentiality, BUT, I am unaware of our own hospital policy...



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by Starwise
 



Wrongful Termination based on an employee's health is prohibited in many cases by state and federal laws. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA) have provisions protecting qualified employees from dismissal based on certain medical conditions. Wrongful termination based on illness may also occur if an employer breaches a contract that specifies terms of employment in the case of disability.

The ADA prohibits wrongful termination based on disability. The law defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions, such as hearing, seeing, walking, speaking, breathing, thinking, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks. Since the ADA includes no list of covered illnesses or diseases, an employee's medical condition must be judged strictly according to the above criteria. All employers with 15 or more employees must uphold ADA.

The FMLA permits 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition that prevents an employee from performing his or her job. An employee can't be terminated for using this leave. The law defines a serious health condition as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves a period of incapacity (absence of more than three workdays) due to:

- Inpatient care in a hospital or other medical-care facility

- A chronic health condition (e.g., asthma or epilepsy)

- A long-term condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g., Alzheimer's disease or a stroke)

- Multiple treatments by a health-care provider and recovery from those treatments (e.g., chemotherapy or dialysis)

Government offices, public and private schools, and private employers with 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks of a year must uphold FMLA.

You may file an ADA discrimination charge with your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office. Charges should be filed within 180 days, or 300 days if your state also has applicable anti-discrimination laws.

FMLA discrimination charges should be filed with the Secretary of Labor, Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. You have two years from your dismissal to file.

You don't need a lawyer to file a discrimination charge. You may seek legal counsel if your case is more complex or if you wish to file a private lawsuit. A private lawsuit may also provide relief if your termination was a breach of an employment contract (for example, contrary to the disability terms outlined in an employee handbook).


I have been fired from my job due to my chronic illness, do I have any legal recourse?


Hope this helps............



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by sonnny1

Originally posted by antonia
reply to post by sonnny1
 


Nope, if your performance is related to a disability then they are just asking to get sued. the minute it passes your lips you are unlikely to get fired. People don't want to get sued and if you do fire that person you are in for trouble unless you can prove it was not related to the disability.


Im sorry to inform you, but employers can make up reasons. I have seen it , with my own eyes. Proving anything in court, always costs money. Usually, the ex-employee, is already in dire straits, because of their medical issues, that they don't have the time, or strength, to fight the issue. Its sad, actually. An employer can say its a cost saving issue. They wont do it right away, but 6 months down the line, they will.


Exactly my fear! Working in an At Will state horrible. They do not even have to tell you the reason for laying you off....



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by Starwise
 


I am surprised, your not in some sort of Union. Nurses without a union ?




posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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Back in 1999 I messed up my knee working offshore and underwent surgery in 2000. Later that year I returned to the same job but my knee was still bothering me. I was rushed through physical therapy I feel because it was through a workmans comp claim. I worked back on that job for 2 weeks and had to quit. In that work environment I could not take any pain medications. So I took about a year off of work. I blew through my savings over that time and in early 2001 I attempted back offshore, I had to tell the company doctor that I had knee surgery and it took about 8 more months of intense physical therapy before they would clear me for work. In 2002 I got hired and in 2009 I got fired for having an argument. I filed suit and won. So with the judgement in my hand I attempted to go back to work. Again i put down I had knee surgery since it was already on their record but I was denied employment based on my medical history. No maritime lawyer would take my case. So I went from 100K+/year to $10/hour working security. I did not tell the security company about my knee and they never found out. I hadn't had any issues since 2001 with it.

In 2010 I got a job at a shipyard that more than doubled my pay I was making doing security. Then in February this year I was working on a ship and someone walking trough my work space caused the false deck to pop knocking my ladder down. So I fell and guess what knee I messed up .... the same one and this time I completely tore my ACL. Since I had no issues since 2001 I didn't think the shipyard needed to know so i never told them.

My previous employer informed them of my medical history in a clear violation of HIPPA and as soon as I found out I had to quit. Otherwise I was looking at some sort of fraud charge because the shipyard was under government contract.

So I will be careful but your condition is way different with mine. if you don't have a ton of bills I would recommend filing for disability. it could take up to 10+ years to get it but they will back pay to the date that you filed.

Good luck and God Bless.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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The thing is, you need to let them know in case something happens to you at work ie: pass out, fall, hurt someone else. Your illness could put others at risk not to mention you could hurt yourself down the road. And IF something happens while at work...God forbid...they can say to Workers Comp for instance that you never told them (for liability reasons) that you had some medical issues.

I would tell them only that you have a progressive illness that may or may not hinder your ability to perform your job, just in case you get hurt at work. They may send you for an evaluation to insure that for the moment...you can still do your job.

God bless and good luck to you...



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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Then get a lawyer if you get fired, lawyers will defer their fee until the case is over. I'm sorry, I've watched my mother go through this. They can lie all they want but as long as you've got the paperwork then you will get your money. Keep records of everything. I said my peace and it is factually correct, I have no more to say about it. Really, as the ad says-get a lawyer, get it done.
edit on 8-8-2012 by antonia because: opps


If you feel you cant do the work apply for ssi.
edit on 8-8-2012 by antonia because: added a thought



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by sonnny1
reply to post by Starwise
 


I am surprised, your not in some sort of Union. Nurses without a union ?



No union in my state



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by Starwise
 


Are you in the south?



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by antonia
Then get a lawyer if you get fired, lawyers will defer their fee until the case is over. I'm sorry, I've watched my mother go through this. They can lie all they want but as long as you've got the paperwork then you will get your money. Keep records of everything. I said my peace and it is factually correct, I have no more to say about it. Really, as the ad says-get a lawyer, get it done.
edit on 8-8-2012 by antonia because: opps


If you feel you cant do the work apply for ssi.
edit on 8-8-2012 by antonia because: added a thought


Thank you for input.
and taking the time to voice your opinion and advice.

That goes to everyone who responds to my thread! Thank You



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by SWCCFAN
 


A HIPPAA violation is a hippa violation no matter what. It is a serious action to make. YOu still should of pursued the violation.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:49 PM
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There are no other departments you can work in?

And in my area, 45 minute commute is a breeze. Is it really that difficult of a commmute for you to cut off job options?





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