should I tell work that I am sick???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DoveL, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. DoveL

    DoveL Member

    Hello Friends,

    I need some advice; I just started working 5 months ago; after not being able to work for over 5 years. (I work about 20 hours per week-sometimes a bit more, sometimes less) At first I really liked the job, and it was not too stressful, and the hours were very flexible! BUT, in the last month, they fired someone, and I am stuck doing their job. So now, I am doing the job of 2 people(still working part-time though)! It is sooo stressful, and am finding my health is rapidly declining. The people I work with seem nice enough. I had to take off I few days, I have been in bed for the past 4 days (I have CFS/FMS). They do not know that I have a chronic illness. They have asked me to work full-time, but I told them I could not due to alot of problems and family problems that I have.

    Question: Should I tell them that I have a chronic illness, and if I do, what should I say I have...???? They think I am such a quick, wonderful worker, and probably would not detect that I am sick (The old; "BUT you don't look sick' thing) I am starting to get depressed, thinking I may have to quit, and not be able to work again, because of my poor health..UGH!! I am feeling so dizzy and ill, I just don't know if I am going to make it :(

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

    'Hugs to all '

    Dove.. :)
  2. Bren2135

    Bren2135 New Member

    I've a similar situation, and recently posted about this. My employer told me I cannot come back to work unless it's full time, and I don't know whether to disclose my illness.

    I'll be listening in on this one..!

    Brenda
  3. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    What I would do...and actually, what I did, was tell HR about my conditions. They cannot disclose the information to anyone.

    They can help you though, to work out things, like if you are out or if you need to leave for a doctor's appointment.

    Just a thought.

    Take CAre,
    Stephanie
  4. azbubba

    azbubba New Member

    I apologize if you've read this before....but if your employer does not know that you have health issues, and you work in a "Right to Work" state (aka Employment at Will), they can fire you at any time they feel you aren't showing up enough.

    If the company is large enough (50 or more employees), you will be covered by FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). If you do not notify your employer, you will not be protected by either one of these.

    Sorry if I sound excited about this, but I've seen too many people let go from their job because their employer felt that someone was "unreliable", when they had a qualifying, disabling condition that entitled them to protection.

    My $0.02....
    Bubba
  5. DoveL

    DoveL Member

    Thanks for your responses friends! :)

    Brenda, That really stinks that they are pressuring you to work Full-time. The same thing was happening at my job, even though I had told them in the interview that I could ABSOLUTELY NOT work full-time at any circumstance! They were still pressuring me, and I had to 'put the brakes on them'.

    Stephanie, I am thinking of telling the HR at work I have a chronic illness? I have been there for 5 months, and feel like if I disclose it now, I was lying to them all along.

    Bubba, good point. I am still on disability and working part-time(they cut your disabilitly pay when doing this). I am in the 'ticket to work program' via disability. I feel as though if someone wants to fire you, they will 'make something up anyway'. BUT if they ever did fire me for my health, I would be sure to put in a complaint to them!

    Truth is; I am in a relapes/major flare, and If I cannot keep up with work, it has to go. :( PLUS, I am not making much extra money ('I call it the poor mans' wage!). what I am making in one month here, I used to make more in a week..GEEZZ, sad but true. (thanks for the vent).

    I am on my way to work right now; wish me luck...I hope I can make it thru the day!

    thanks!

    HUGGSSS
    Dove.
  6. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    I would just tell HR that you did not bring it up because you were doing well for awhile and didnt think you would have any problems. And now you are doing worse again, so you may need time to go to the doc's etc.

    I didnt not tell my employer for over a year. Beleive me, HR will understand. They know that you would not want to be judged on your condition.

    Also, you may want to take the time to explain exactly what FM and CFS are. Alot of people arent aware of them.

    Im sure everything will be OK.

    Big Hugs,
    Stephanie
  7. Linky

    Linky New Member

    DoveL,
    You definately need to tell your employer. I had a very similar situation also. I told my employer about my illness and worked full time and overtime for a year after telling them. My health started getting worse, I went back to my employer and explained that I would like to work only three days a week to see if I needed just a little extra rest to start feeling better again. They said sure no problem, then a couple weeks later they ended up firing someone in our office. Guess what happened, even though they still kept me at three days a week I was expected to pick up the slack and in my 3 days I would put in 45-50 hours each week. This went on for months until I just could not function any longer, major flare. I had to quit my job in Nov 2001 and have never been able to work again. In the past almost 5 years now I can honestly tell you that I have had only 1 good day and that was on Feb 6,2002, remember this date like my childs birthday because I felt so wonderful. But that has been the only day I have felt good, am constantly in pain,etc. and just plain miserable. Please Do Not work yourself into a flare as I did, I am suffering greatly now for doing so. Best wishes to you in any choice you make!
    Linky
  8. hob

    hob New Member

    I think you need to tell them that so that they can work with you. The office sounds like it is a great place for you other than the extra work load. I would tell them the truth and that you have it under controll but the extra work is wearing you out. Maybe offer to give them some literature or websites so they can learn abou the illness. I did this with my last employer and they were more than willing to work with me because they felt I was an asset to the team. Good luck you are in my thoughts

    hob
  9. DoveL

    DoveL Member

    Stephanie and Linky, I 'chickend out' and did not tell work today, that I was out sick because I have a Chronic Illness, and am always sick on some level!! Why you may ask??? This is hysterical; they said: Oh we were so worried about you being out sick, because you are NEVER SICK!! LOL..I almost keeled over when I heard that. Guess I am a good 'faker'. Also, last week, my boss called me 'speedy'..LOL!! Far from it!!! I may adventually tell them though; it really has to be done..adventually. I do work with some really nice people too. Hopefully they are understanding.

    Linky, thanks for 'putting me in check with reality'. I keep thinking, I may be 'hurting my health' more in the long run, but pushing now! I would hate to go backwards even more!! I am sorry you are feeling so badly!

    Thanks for responding; the feedback was real helpful!! Feel better soon..ALL :)

    HUGS>>DOVE