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work accomodations

Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 11:40 pm
by rlsandfighting
I work for the state of Ohio. My work schedule had been 7a - 3:30p, with a 30 minute lunch, for a few years. this worked for me, because I could get home and get a nap in some afternoons, because if I let myself get too tired then I would have PLMW in the late afternoon and throughout the evenings.

Recently, the state of Ohio switched to "core business hours" and my schedule has changed to 8-5, with an hour lunch. (there are still some that come in at 7 - 4) This has increased my PLM and I don't feel that taking a nap that late is beneficial, so I talked to my doctor and he just put on a prescription paper for me to have an adjusted work schedule and to get off work no later than 4. I turned it in, had to fill out ADA work accomadation papers and turned them in, I had an opportunity to talk to the EEO officer and frankly, she isn't getting it, or she does get it and they aren't worried about after work. She just said they (the 3 person committee for accomodation requests) are reviewing it, they don't see where I am disabled, although she does see where I think sleep is a 'major life activity' - in addition, accomodations are to 'help people perform the essential functions of their job' and she does not see a problem with me doing my job.

What about my quality of life outside of work? Don't I have any rights to that? I was so frustrated, I went back to my desk and cried. Told a coworker it was like trying to get a doctor to understant 20 years ago! I should have just gone outside and talked to the brick wall!!

Any ideas out there? Suggestions?


Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:25 am
by ViewsAskew
Oooo, this just makes me so mad.

I think you might have to pull your doctor in a bit more. Maybe explaining how you can't do your job--your have to be up and walking, so can't sit to do it for example--rather than focus on how it will help you after work. We both know that this is important, but if these are her rules, then make them work for you.

Also, part of this is to explain that this schedule interferes with getting your sleep and sleepy people make many more mistakes, are much less productive, are a danger when driving, AND are at a greater risk for heart attacks and high blood pressure, which would make them have to pay much more when you get sick.

Here's what we're working with from a legal perspective. According to a document from Legal Watch (and which I am typing in even though it says that reproduction is prohibited)

"An individual who claims to be substantially limited in his sleep ability to sleep must show his sleep difficulties are significantly greater than those that are common to the average adult. Also, this significant sleep restriction must not be alleviated through the use of medication. If the individual is able to obtain normal sleep pattern through the use of medication, the will not meet the ADAs definition for a sleep related disability."

Posted: Sat May 03, 2008 9:23 am
by dogeyed
Boy, have I got somethin to say about those employers of yours. I had a similar thing happen to me. Hon, you gave them a doctor's note and yet they're arguing with you. All they care about is their quotas. They come up with you're "not disabled" becuz that's the only legal reason why they must accommodate you. Human kindness and common sense went out the window years ago, and the almighty dollar is sitting in the driver's seat.

Let me tell you, I had a doctor's excuse not to work for two weeks becuz I was fainting all over the place (not from RLS, but other illness). Do you know that they whined about that!?! And when I finally moved on from that work, a couple years later I was applying for a job, and that place's paperwork said I had attendance problems. I was there on 9-11 when the 300-member company basically abandoned the place. And I was posted in the lunchroom for perfect attendance the day I left there. And I had positive write-ups on the departmental bulletin board several times every year. I'll tell you who had the problem: That company I worked for.

If you want to keep your job and keep your work record clear, you are going to have to work their stupid schedule. Spend a little time thinking about what sort of other work you could be doing and maybe make plans. In meantime, I guess you could set all your clocks back an hour, so you still go in at 7 and leave at 4, take your nap, don't look at any other clocks. You either work with the system or work without it, unless you're willing to lawyer up and fight it. But pick your battles carefully. You want to win the war. I lost mine.

Posted: Sat May 03, 2008 1:01 pm
by rlsandfighting
Thanks all! It is just very frustrating. In order to make nice and keep peace I may just tell them that I am withdrawing my request due to medication changes or some other bull. Sadly I need to keep them happy, because I have come along enough there that I don't think I could find another job that paid as well, and with hubby retiring in a year or two and the blasted economy the way it is...

AND... I may switch docs and actually have a med change. I had been thinking of moving on, as this guy seems more sleep apnea focused and not so much RLS and PLM focused...

Thanks for being there!