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Discrimination On The Job


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#1 SleepyWinter

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:00 AM

Hello everyone. I need to hear from anyone that has been let go from a job because you have Narcolepsy. Is this the extent of the rest of my life? I was a Parent Advocate for the county that I live in and I wasn't really considered an employee but a volunteer that got paid. I desperately loved what I did and I have helped many families and their children with disabilities and mental disorders. I have never had a spell in front of any of them and it wasn't even any of them that complained about me and my condition. I feel like I am now totally worthless. This is the second job that I have been let go from. [/i]

#2 SleepyStudent

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

SleepyWinter, my heart goes out to you as I have been in your situation before, more than once. The depression and hit to your confidence are hard to get over, though I have an understanding employer and co-workers at my current job where I have been for a few years it's still difficult not to get those anxiety attacks.

This is not the rest of your life, you will work again and hopefully find an employer who understands that Narcolepsy is a disability that should not be discriminated against but accommodated so you can be the employee they want and you want to be. I started where I work now as a clerk filing papers and doing data entry but my supervisor has been supportive and understanding. She saw my potential as a great employee not as someone with Narcolepsy. I've moved up several positions in my department and hope to keep going.

Something that my supervisor brought to my attention was that under the Americans with Disabilities Act you can not be discriminated against and your employer has to make resonable accommodation. With Narcolepsy there really is no cost to the employer to allow you to take naps to control attacks.

Knowledge is power. Check out the Equal Employment Oppurtunity Commission (EEOC) for your rights and what you can do.

http://www.eeoc.org

#3 musicmamma46

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:33 PM

I suggest that you do not work as a temporary where the agency will not fight for your rights as you are a comodity for them to make money from. I was working a 6 month assignment and happened to fall asleep at my desk, (unfortunately I snore when I sleep) so my supervisor came running up and shook me awake and said that I cannot do that at work. I did try to explain to him that I have Narcolepsy...but he didn't want to hear that. Then much to my dismay he asked my next door cubicle mate to keep track of when I fall alseep and to keep waking me up...until she freaked out and I was let go. I asked him if I was doing my work adequately and he said yes, but he can't have a worker sleeping on the job. So because it was a temp job...out I went. Then I just started a new position as a temp and I started on Monday and was released on Friday...they said it was because I was making too many errors but that is just an excuse for my narcolepsy.

I have an appointment with my doctor this week, but I have no health insurance or medication discount so I am certain that getting medication is gonna be a good trick.

I do have an interview tomorrow for a real job (not temp) and am hopeful. Do I have to let them know about the Narcolepsy? Or can I wait until I have been hired to let them know.

musicmamma46

#4 nosleepforme

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:10 PM

Hi everyone
I was in my early twenties when I noticed that I seemed to complain more of being tired than anyone I knew. Every Dr. that I went to all said it was depression. At the time it was believable since my marriage was miserable. After my divorce I survived on coffee, nodoz, and then ephedra, I almost cried when that was taken off the market. Still available with ID and signature so that it could be monitored who and how often it was being bought I just went back to the coffee and nodoz. It wasn't long before I couldn't get through the day at work, when I began to nod off at stop lights I decided it was time to try the Dr. again. I asked for stimulants to help keep ma awake so that I could work a full day, of course, she refused and again I was asked if I was depressed. At this time my life could not have been better, I had a job I loved (my boss thought I was not happy because I kept asking to go home early) I was up for a promotion I was getting everything ready financially to buy my own home, I was with a wonderful man that I love with all my heart, I had three children, my youngest was 17. What more could you ask for. I did not have the problems some people did with my children, they were not perfect, but they did grow up and were eager to be independent. My Dr. referred me to a Pulmonologist/Sleep Physician. 2006 was a good year. I was thrilled to find out that I was not imagining the tiredness i had been feeling all these years. It had gotten worse since my twenties. My initial DX was Idiopathic Hypersomnia with mild sleep apnea which was caused by very enlarged tonsils. . MSLT sleep latency was about 3.5 minutes for the 4 daytime studies, but no REM. I had told the Dr. that I had experienced dreaming while napping in the past, but not all the time.January 2008, After having employment problems (I had a one hour drive to work and then home again) I had to request FMLA leave, and at the request of my employer,I had a second sleep study, sleep apnea was corrected by surgery. sleep latency was still the same, but my MSLT I had 3 REM naps out of four. My Sleep Dr. would not release me to return to work having to drive as far as I was, I told my employer this, he received my Dr's recommendations and finally agreed to 3 twenty minute naps, the only thing that was not addressed was the driving. I told them that my Dr. would not release me to return to work unless I could go to a store closer to home. it was still refused. I remained on paid leave until August, short therm disability was coming to an end and I received a letter from my manager that I was to report back to work the following monday. I would be allowed the 3 twenty minute breaks, my drive to work and home was not their responsibility. There was no mention of a release to return to work. They wanted me to quit, they tried everything they could think of to say I was not qualified, suggestions like maybe this job is too stressful for you with your condition. I was a Customer Service Manager, so I was able to keep busy. When I was promoted I changed stores, I even talked to my old boss and he was more than willing to take me back at this time, he was aware that I had Narcolepsy and did not have a problem with the breaks. I spoke to my HR Manager and told him there was a Temporary position available at my old store, He said he would talk to the Store Manager. I fould out during the investigation that I had filed in January of this year that the HR Manager had not talked to my previous manager about me returning. I was so hurt.
I learned a lot, driving was not and essential part of my job, it was not related to my job, but because driving is limited due to my condition, they are expected to make a reasonable accommodation. They made no attempt there is nothing available is what I was told. I have done many searches and this company has come out squeeky clean on every charge filed against them, two may have made it to court, one was not timely filed, the second one lost her own case for failing to suggest a reasonable accommodation, had she been able to suggest anything, she had a good case. I had no performance problems, when I was late it was usually just a few minutes, I have always been a punctual employee, but I guess my manager was so desperate to have me out of the company they made one mistake. In his attempt to obtain proof that I was a bad employee I was written up for leaving papers on the counter ( there were none) and not having balloons blown up ( we were still trying to get them placed). Not because I was two minutes late, I never called in and If I was late, I made up my time. I was required to work 50 hours and still worked 55-60. I filed charges for failure to accommodate, hostile work enviroment, terms and conditions, unfair discipline. Cause has been found. I am currently waiting for my determination letter, and EEOC will conciliate with my previous employer. I didn't think I had a chance, for so long it seemed that they always had a good excuse for their actions. I have kept all my paperwork, I have filed an appeal on the LTD and I am receiving unemployment compensation. The company claimed that I was a volantary quit, but I had proof through e-mail from HR that I was in fact terminated when I told them I could not accept the same position because of the driving, I now also have proof I was fired because of my condition, which will make my wrongful termination suit that much easier. I hope this helps someone. It is not impossible, but there is so much to learn to make a good case with no legal help.



#5 Marcianna

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (nosleepforme @ Oct 6 2008, 09:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi everyone
I was in my early twenties when I noticed that I seemed to complain more of being tired than anyone I knew. Every Dr. that I went to all said it was depression. At the time it was believable since my marriage was miserable. After my divorce I survived on coffee, nodoz, and then ephedra, I almost cried when that was taken off the market. Still available with ID and signature so that it could be monitored who and how often it was being bought I just went back to the coffee and nodoz. It wasn't long before I couldn't get through the day at work, when I began to nod off at stop lights I decided it was time to try the Dr. again. I asked for stimulants to help keep ma awake so that I could work a full day, of course, she refused and again I was asked if I was depressed. At this time my life could not have been better, I had a job I loved (my boss thought I was not happy because I kept asking to go home early) I was up for a promotion I was getting everything ready financially to buy my own home, I was with a wonderful man that I love with all my heart, I had three children, my youngest was 17. What more could you ask for. I did not have the problems some people did with my children, they were not perfect, but they did grow up and were eager to be independent. My Dr. referred me to a Pulmonologist/Sleep Physician. 2006 was a good year. I was thrilled to find out that I was not imagining the tiredness i had been feeling all these years. It had gotten worse since my twenties. My initial DX was Idiopathic Hypersomnia with mild sleep apnea which was caused by very enlarged tonsils. . MSLT sleep latency was about 3.5 minutes for the 4 daytime studies, but no REM. I had told the Dr. that I had experienced dreaming while napping in the past, but not all the time.January 2008, After having employment problems (I had a one hour drive to work and then home again) I had to request FMLA leave, and at the request of my employer,I had a second sleep study, sleep apnea was corrected by surgery. sleep latency was still the same, but my MSLT I had 3 REM naps out of four. My Sleep Dr. would not release me to return to work having to drive as far as I was, I told my employer this, he received my Dr's recommendations and finally agreed to 3 twenty minute naps, the only thing that was not addressed was the driving. I told them that my Dr. would not release me to return to work unless I could go to a store closer to home. it was still refused. I remained on paid leave until August, short therm disability was coming to an end and I received a letter from my manager that I was to report back to work the following monday. I would be allowed the 3 twenty minute breaks, my drive to work and home was not their responsibility. There was no mention of a release to return to work. They wanted me to quit, they tried everything they could think of to say I was not qualified, suggestions like maybe this job is too stressful for you with your condition. I was a Customer Service Manager, so I was able to keep busy. When I was promoted I changed stores, I even talked to my old boss and he was more than willing to take me back at this time, he was aware that I had Narcolepsy and did not have a problem with the breaks. I spoke to my HR Manager and told him there was a Temporary position available at my old store, He said he would talk to the Store Manager. I fould out during the investigation that I had filed in January of this year that the HR Manager had not talked to my previous manager about me returning. I was so hurt.
I learned a lot, driving was not and essential part of my job, it was not related to my job, but because driving is limited due to my condition, they are expected to make a reasonable accommodation. They made no attempt there is nothing available is what I was told. I have done many searches and this company has come out squeeky clean on every charge filed against them, two may have made it to court, one was not timely filed, the second one lost her own case for failing to suggest a reasonable accommodation, had she been able to suggest anything, she had a good case. I had no performance problems, when I was late it was usually just a few minutes, I have always been a punctual employee, but I guess my manager was so desperate to have me out of the company they made one mistake. In his attempt to obtain proof that I was a bad employee I was written up for leaving papers on the counter ( there were none) and not having balloons blown up ( we were still trying to get them placed). Not because I was two minutes late, I never called in and If I was late, I made up my time. I was required to work 50 hours and still worked 55-60. I filed charges for failure to accommodate, hostile work enviroment, terms and conditions, unfair discipline. Cause has been found. I am currently waiting for my determination letter, and EEOC will conciliate with my previous employer. I didn't think I had a chance, for so long it seemed that they always had a good excuse for their actions. I have kept all my paperwork, I have filed an appeal on the LTD and I am receiving unemployment compensation. The company claimed that I was a volantary quit, but I had proof through e-mail from HR that I was in fact terminated when I told them I could not accept the same position because of the driving, I now also have proof I was fired because of my condition, which will make my wrongful termination suit that much easier. I hope this helps someone. It is not impossible, but there is so much to learn to make a good case with no legal help.


Excellent! I am sorry to hear that you have had to go through so much nonsense as you have, but honestly the fact that you stuck to your guns and did not give into them is a wonderful thing. Emotional stress like that can really be damaging to those of us and often it is easier to give up. I think more often than not, most of us do. And I want to thank you for posting this. To often we allow ourselves to be unwilling victims and you did not settle for that. What you are acomplishing in your life with this is an inspiration for all of us. I'm sure your words will not fall on deaf ears here!
Thank you!