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In Trouble At Work And Need Your Advice!


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#1 KMitchell25

KMitchell25

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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Illinois
  • Interests:Gardening, Dancing, Playing Saxophone, Spending time with friends and family, having enough energy to do any of these things and actually feel like myself and not some zombie who just isn't much fun!!

Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:01 PM

Hello everyone!

I was diagnosed with narcolepsy almost 2 months ago, and I have still been struggling with Severe EDS on a daily basis. I will be starting Xyrem soon, but unfortunately even once that begins working and I'm hopefully able to function at a higher level during the day, it won't help my employment predicament as it is now.

Before being diagnosed I had called off work a few times due to being unable to drive and excessively tired- I didn't know I had N at the time- but I was just "sick" and couldn't get out of bed. Well, now we know why I have felt like this for so long- thank God! Due to 6 absences in the past 10 months I have been put on a Level 1 discipline with my employer. This means that if you call off again you are unable to transfer positions (something I really need because I work in a cubicle prison which makes me even more of a prisioner of my narcolepsy). It also means that I will no longer be eligible for Tuition Reimbursement, and also that any more absences will result in termination.

This morning my husband left for work very early- I had 4 alarms set. Didn't hear ANY of them. Not one! So I was having a major anxitey dream and woke up panicked- and then I looked at my clock and that's when the REAL WORLD panic kicked in- it was already 10 minutes past when I was supposed to be clocked in and at my desk. I called my boss and was out the door in 5 minutes. The scary thing is that I should not have been driving- usually I have over an hour to get moving and have my meds kick in- but I had to go to work so I had no choice. I know it's bad, but I have never had sleep attacks in conversations or while driving before- just when working or reading or watching tv or in any situation where I am not engaged enough.

So I get to work and go talk to my boss, explaining that this is something I could not control- She said that I would go on a Level 2 discipline- which means I am out $500 in tuition reimbursement, and I am unable to transfer positions. Also if I have one more incident within the next YEAR I will be fired. I'm not eligible for FMLA until the end of November- but shouldn't the ADA grant some rights in regards to accomodating a schedule that would allow for a allow me to work my full 8 hours without being punished for being late when it's due to Narcolepsy?

Exceptions have been made for other employees who do not have disabilities- i.e. a coworker left the other day (unscheduled- same as being late) to go to the hospital because of cramps- and was told that she got a "pass" that time. She told me she should have been placed on a level.

SO my boss says she can't imagine what I'm going through and she really feels bad and wants to do everything she can to help. Well, I know for a fact that "passes" have been granted for multiple people- and I don't understand why my issue is not qualified but menstural cramps are?? Both my boss and HR have known about by diagnosis from day one- and I gave my boss a letter from my doctor yesterday explaining that I may have issues with focus and performance until we get everything figured out- I have given her a pamphlet for education on Narcolepsy. They had told me that the nap policy won't apply to me because I have a disability where I need naps in the afternoon to make it through- so they KNOW I'm having this problem.

I don't know what to do. After all this my boss is waiting to hear from HR- she sent over the letter from my Doctor and also forwarded my email that has a request for accomodation to allow me to work later into the evening to get my full 8 hours without being reprimanded if my lateness is due to Narcolepsy...

WHAT SHOULD I DO?? I feel this is discrimination becuase others have been given "passes" but I am not. With this new diagnosis I am scared of the unknown already- and now add the fact that I may lose my job on top of that- and I'm a mess.

SORRY FOR THE LONG EMAIL!!! Please give me some advise here friends!