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#1 flutterbye_xo

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

If you're a healthcare professional (licensed by the state) and a person with narcolepsy and cataplexy is there any protection to prevent termination of employment? I know the ADA allows accommodations and I haven't asked for any. I want to be able to protect myself if I ever have a need. I know the people I interact with (family/friends/coworkers/colleagues) will never understand my situation like you. I was hoping to get some thoughts for those of you more experienced in the work force than I. Is it detrimental, in any way, to ask for accommodations? This forum has been very valuable to me and I always appreciate any feedback.

#2 jpsmith8488

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:43 PM

I am a medical doctor (M.D.) with current licenses in four states and hospital privileges in two large metropolitan medical centers, and I have narcolepsy and cataplexy.  There is risk to failing to ask for an ADA reasonable accommodation from your employer: if your performance or your behavior does not meet the company expectations, you may be put on probation, reassigned to a less demanding and lower paying position within the company or fired.

 

Once your employer is on notice that you have a qualifying condition under the ADA, and narcolepsy certainly qualifies, then the employer must make reasonable accommodations to enable you to continue in your present position without retribution. In other words, if you require a 20 minute nap twice each day, then the  employer must incorporate that into your job and not penalize you for the "lost time" by not paying you for your periods of sleep.

 

It is much harder to "fire" an employee with an ADA-qualifying disability.  I suggest that you consult with an employment attorney, of if money is tight, consider free or low cost legal services that may be available from a law school or from the city in which you live. Don't forget that your Member of Congress and your U.S. Senator can provide you with information about the ADA and answer some questions but they cannot give you legal advice.

 

Summary: Become informed about the ADA (hire an employment attorney), talk to your sleep doctor about your job and what changes could be made to accommodate your desire to continue to work, and then present your request to your employer's HR department or person. Remember that just because you invoke the ADA does not mean that your medical condition is now public knowledge - your employer must, to the extent possible, continue to treat your medical information as confidential.

 

Remember that your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations but not to make extraordinary accommodations. For example, it would reasonable to allow you to have two twenty minute daily naps; it would not be reasonable to allow you to take two three hour naps on company time, or drive a school bus on long field trips if you still have episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness. 

Best of luck.



#3 Hank

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:14 AM

consider contacting JAN- Job Accommodation Network. They are helpful and well informed on these matters.

 

the purpose of accommodations are to help you do your job- but you still have to do your job with the accommodations.



#4 flutterbye_xo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:51 AM

Thank you. This was informative and I appreciate the advice.

#5 flutterbye_xo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:54 AM

I am a medical doctor (M.D.) with current licenses in four states and hospital privileges in two large metropolitan medical centers, and I have narcolepsy and cataplexy.  There is risk to failing to ask for an ADA reasonable accommodation from your employer: if your performance or your behavior does not meet the company expectations, you may be put on probation, reassigned to a less demanding and lower paying position within the company or fired.
 
Once your employer is on notice that you have a qualifying condition under the ADA, and narcolepsy certainly qualifies, then the employer must make reasonable accommodations to enable you to continue in your present position without retribution. In other words, if you require a 20 minute nap twice each day, then the  employer must incorporate that into your job and not penalize you for the "lost time" by not paying you for your periods of sleep.
 
It is much harder to "fire" an employee with an ADA-qualifying disability.  I suggest that you consult with an employment attorney, of if money is tight, consider free or low cost legal services that may be available from a law school or from the city in which you live. Don't forget that your Member of Congress and your U.S. Senator can provide you with information about the ADA and answer some questions but they cannot give you legal advice.
 
Summary: Become informed about the ADA (hire an employment attorney), talk to your sleep doctor about your job and what changes could be made to accommodate your desire to continue to work, and then present your request to your employer's HR department or person. Remember that just because you invoke the ADA does not mean that your medical condition is now public knowledge - your employer must, to the extent possible, continue to treat your medical information as confidential.
 
Remember that your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations but not to make extraordinary accommodations. For example, it would reasonable to allow you to have two twenty minute daily naps; it would not be reasonable to allow you to take two three hour naps on company time, or drive a school bus on long field trips if you still have episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness. 
Best of luck.


Thank you. This was informative and I appreciate the advice.

#6 flutterbye_xo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:18 PM

I am a medical doctor (M.D.) with current licenses in four states and hospital privileges in two large metropolitan medical centers, and I have narcolepsy and cataplexy. There is risk to failing to ask for an ADA reasonable accommodation from your employer: if your performance or your behavior does not meet the company expectations, you may be put on probation, reassigned to a less demanding and lower paying position within the company or fired.

Once your employer is on notice that you have a qualifying condition under the ADA, and narcolepsy certainly qualifies, then the employer must make reasonable accommodations to enable you to continue in your present position without retribution. In other words, if you require a 20 minute nap twice each day, then the employer must incorporate that into your job and not penalize you for the "lost time" by not paying you for your periods of sleep.

It is much harder to "fire" an employee with an ADA-qualifying disability. I suggest that you consult with an employment attorney, of if money is tight, consider free or low cost legal services that may be available from a law school or from the city in which you live. Don't forget that your Member of Congress and your U.S. Senator can provide you with information about the ADA and answer some questions but they cannot give you legal advice.

Summary: Become informed about the ADA (hire an employment attorney), talk to your sleep doctor about your job and what changes could be made to accommodate your desire to continue to work, and then present your request to your employer's HR department or person. Remember that just because you invoke the ADA does not mean that your medical condition is now public knowledge - your employer must, to the extent possible, continue to treat your medical information as confidential.

Remember that your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations but not to make extraordinary accommodations. For example, it would reasonable to allow you to have two twenty minute daily naps; it would not be reasonable to allow you to take two three hour naps on company time, or drive a school bus on long field trips if you still have episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Best of luck.

Can I invoke my ADA rights without asking for accommodations?

#7 louie

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

In the context of employment, I think it is necessary that the employer is aware of your disability and you have w8rked together to find accommodations prior to you filing a complaint with the EEOC, but I amnot a lawyer and I don't know for sure. I do know that if you feel you have been discriminated aga7nst against and file with the EEOC they will evaluate the validity of your complaint and IF you end up in court you have a lengthy and stressful fight
on your hands for possibly years.