Anyone ever fought for an ADA job accommodation?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by steach, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. steach

    steach Member

    Hi Friends~

    As I sit before my computer this evening, I find myself running-out of my energy reserve. I am completely and utterly exhausted and frustrated with trying to fight for my rights under the ADA to keep my job.

    I have submitted an ADA packet at work, with my physician completing his part, to request a schedule adjustment. I have both FM and CFS and many of the symptoms that accompany these horrible invisible illnesses. I have just returned to work a year ago (in September) after being off for 17 months with this DD.

    I am a State of Ohio employee, at a prison. I was told by "THE" person in charge, "I can't do this for everyone. I can't do this just because you can't get out of bed in the morning!" "If your schedule were changed, what would your children do in the evenings without you?"

    My union rep. and I have been told that my request is not in the ADA category but rather in the "scheduling" category!!!

    I have been discriminated against by comments and actions from administrative staff and put through discipline for using FMLA time (they thought I had to have a physician's verification each and every time that I took FMLA time- wrong)!

    I am sooo tired of dealing with a bunch of uneducated people who try to interpret the law and enforce it to their liking.

    I have no physical or mental strength left at this point. This situation has gone to a level 3 grievance procedure. I wonder if I would be better off just taking a disability retirement and just saying 'to hell' with this current situation.

    Do I stay and fight for my rights- and, the rights of others who have to deal with the same B.S.- or do I just do what my body tells me to do and give-up now?

    I am SOOO angry that employers CAN and DO put us, who want to work, and can through an accommodation, through HELL. These people have no right to do this to any of us. I feel that if I quit now, I will be letting others down who will face the same situation. I feel guilty for even thinking about quitting this legal battle b/c it sends a message to other employers and makes life difficult for others who are facing the same ugly ordeal.

    I have also contacted the OH Civil Rights Commission and the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. I want so badly to make things right for all of us who have to deal with employment discrimination.

    Has anyone ever been in my position? What was the out-come?

    Thanks for listening to my venting and whining.

    Love to all-
    Steach
  2. steach

    steach Member

    I am so glad that I have helped at least one person through my experience(s). I believe that we need each other and should stick together to lobby for our rights. It sometimes gets so frustrating.

    I am just so exhausted from all of the physical issues that go on with my body and then dealing with the emotional stess makes it so much more difficult.

    I really believe that we are a "family" and need to stick together- no matter what. I want to try to help others by what I am going thru but I don't know if my body will allow that. I wish that we could be heard and recognized by the ADA and employers. They do not have the legal right to dismiss us as though we do not exist; we ARE human beings who deserve the right to enjoy the same opportunities as others.

    I want not only to help myself by this process, but others as well. I hope that we see a day when employers will recognize us and accept us- and offer the same job opportunities as they do to everyone else without discrimination.

    Thanks for responding and listening to my venting! I really appreciate my fibro family here.

    Love and hugs-
    Steach
  3. steach

    steach Member

  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Hi, Steach!

    I know that I can't help you, but just wanted to make a few comments!

    First of all, my younger brother is also a State of Ohio employee who works at a maximum security prison. He is a guard there. I have heard a lot of his stories!

    I hope you hear from the OH Civil Rights Commission and the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. They might be able to clarify your questions.

    I have read somewhere, I don't know if it was here or not, that the ADA only applies when hiring a person. When I read this info, it sounded as if a current employee could not benefit from it.

    I used to work under federal guidelines (in the State of Ohio) when I was employed (retired now), so I don't know much about how the state operates--only what I hear my brother talk about.

    If you end up at some type of hearing, have you asked your union rep if this is a "scheduling" conflict, if a statement from your physician would help -- if it stated that your illness makes it physically impossible for you to navigate well early in the mornings, therefore you require all afternoons or midnight shifts?

    Another question -- if you decided to take disability retirement, would the administration fight you on that? In a lot of companies, it's almost impossible to be approved for disability benefits/retirement.

    It is noble of you to think of letting others down who will face the same situation; however, you DO have to think about yourself at some point. You have to do what is right for YOU.

    If you know you are physically and emotionally able to continue working, then fight. Maybe there is no use to fight a big legal battle if you don't think you are able to continue working -- in this case, you might want to think about building your case for a disability retirement. Then, after you are offically retired, then file for SSDI.

    Hope the legalwoman comes along and offers you some tips.

    Good luck,
    Janet
  5. steach

    steach Member

    Georgia- you hit the nail on the head!! It isn't the "clients" who cause all the grief- it is the staff who would slit someone's neck in a heartbeat. Everybody seems to be against each other for whatever reason- I've never seen anything like this in my working career. I am a teacher.

    Janet- I'm sure that you have heard many horror stories about how administration operates in these facilities. I can do nothing but shake my head in amazement. I can't believe how these people make their own rules, interpret rules to their advantage, and operate however they please.

    From what I have read from government sites, employers DO have to make "reasonable" accommodations which would not cause "undue hardship" to their operations; even after a hire date.

    When I returned to work last September '04, my employer was not happy to have me back- they had already hired a teacher to fill my position. They now have to pay another salary, benefits, etc., which is costing them extra money. They tried to FORCE me into taking a disability retirement; however, I fought long and hard to get myself well enough to return to work.

    I believe, and so does my doctor, that a schedule accommodation would be in my best interest to continue working. He stated this information on his portion of the ADA paperwork which was submitted to my employer.

    The schedule modification originates from my medical issues-NOT because I don't want to work 1st shift. If I could get up and function to work 1st shift, that would be my choice- but, it is obvious that this shift isn't working for me. AND- there are 2nd shift classes at my facility!!!!!! It is not like I am asking for something that has not already been established!

    I DO have a responsibility to you and every other person who has a disability; we are a family of people who have an illness(es) and need to stay cohesive for the future of the ADA and court rulings, etc. If every person would just give-up without a legitimate battle, employers would never recognize our rights to have the same opportunities as others.

    Thank you both for your responses and information. I very much appreciate your time and concern.

    Love-
    Steach
  6. steach

    steach Member

  7. steach

    steach Member