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Fired From Job For Dozing

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#1 Zach



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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:04 AM

Has anyone been let go from there job for dozing while working? I was terminated due to a incident where i uncontrollably dozed off and let my head fall. my supervisor saw this and sent me home. I then received a phone call from the human resources department a few hours later telling me that i was fired. I tried to explain that this was not normal behavior for me and that i was seeking medical attention to figure out the problem. Which i did immediately. I was able to get into see a sleep specialist a few days later and had a PSG and MSLT done. 2 days ago i was diagnosed with narcolepsy and am going to fight for my job back. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

#2 Kathleen



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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:27 AM


I am so sorry to hear that. Were you at the job a long time? Had this happened before?

I do not have any experience in this area, but I hope that somebody posts some more information.

I am glad that you have finally been diagnosed & can get treatment, please keep us up to date on your progress & fight for the job.

Best of Luck!


#3 malachi777



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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:53 AM

Zach, I am truly sorry for this position you have been put in. I pray that you will get your job back too. Recently, so many companies have been getting good at finding ways to get rid of employees and not having to pay unemployment. Have you consulted an attorney about this issue? It might be a good idea. I am pretty sure you may have an ADA lawsuit against them if they do not rehire you, since they have to assist you within limits for your disability. Good luck and keep us posted. Mike

#4 Saraiah



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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:56 PM

Zach, I'm so sorry! My employer similarly attempted to fire me, but did it so clumsily that I was quickly able to get my job back. I second the idea of finding a good lawyer in your area - where do you live? Although I'd definitely want you to consult a lawyer first, it seems to me that a vital step would be to write a letter to your employer documenting your getting a medical diagnosis and treatment for the condition which caused you to nod off, and to include in the letter documentation of how any drug treatment is helping you to stay more awake and alert (if that is indeed happening). IF your job is structured in a way that might allow you to take 15-20 minute breaks for naps, assuming that short naps are helpful to you in controlling your EDS, you might want to include in your letter that such an accomodation would be helpful and is required under the ADA. That way, you are making them aware that the condition was an involuntary, temporary, medical one, and a disability to boot. BUT, I'm not a lawyer, so definitely talk with a lawyer first.

I expect you already know that there are multiple excellent online narcolepsy forums. If you don't get all of the information you need here, try elsewhere as well. This is a terrific forum, and there are also other rich narcolepsy forums, each with different primary sets of people and so with different experience sets and knowledge bases. Somewhere among all of the online narcolepsy communities, I'd bet, is a person living near you who hired a very good lawyer for a similar problem. Good luck!


#5 nosleepforme



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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:32 PM

So sorry Zach for your problems at work. First let me tell you a little about myself. In 2006 I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, I was placed on medical leave in January 2008 then terminated in August 2008. I made a request for accommodation which was denied, I asked for a transfer to a store closer to my home, I was driving 53 miles one way, and having a hard time staying alert to drive home. I had asked to have three 15 minute breaks instead of a one hour lunch, they claimed they could not accommodate that as it was a hardship to the business. I filed charges of discrimination and failure to accommodate, and recieved a cause finding from my state agency. Here it is October 2009 and I still have not found a job and have had no resolution to my case. It took many months before I could find an attorney to even talk to me, it was after I recieved notice that there was a cause finding that I was able to retain a lawyer. It may be different in your location, but here there is not even a handful of attorneys that take ADA cases here. I don't know that there is much that you can do about losing your job. Many states are at will and can terminate a person for a good reason or no reason, as long as it is not discriminatory. Since you did not know of your condition before you were terminated the reason for your dismissal is not due to a medical disorder that was known. Employers are only liable for a known medical condition. I would suggest you take your medical documentation and a letter from you Doctor to Human Resources and try to explain the problem. If there were no issues with past performance, I would hope that they would work with you. If not than you could try and file charges through the EEOC or your state agency. Or you can call and speak with one of the representitives. I would not recommend filing charges of discrimination to anyone, I have regretted starting this whole mess but I have come too far now to just drop it. It has been very hard emotionally, and has probably affected my chances of getting hired in my area by anyone, as I said, I'm still searching for a job. But, I don't think that anyone should just have to sit back and take what is thrown at us. If they are wrong, they should be held accountable. I hope they are willing to work with you. For me this has been a very hard time, I don't want to discourage you, but I'm not going to tell you it's easy, I just want you to be prepared for the worst. I have lost just about everything. But My company filed bankruptcy I think just to complicate everything. :) . If there is anything I can help you with, just let me know. I'm not an expert, but I have done many months of research and learned a lot. Good luck to you. Your situation may be different and it will go smoothly. I hope so.