Fmla...How Does It Work
Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:19 AM
Before i was diagnosed and started treatment, i was late for work at least 3 times a week (and as im sure we all do...i HATE being late). But even now that ive started my treatment (nuvigil 150mg) im still late 1-2 times a week, and ive been reprimanded for it, and even taken off of the schedule for a week because of it.
I know FMLA can protect me from being terminated....but im at a loss as to how i should apply, how it works, and the duration of it. I also (from what i understand) think that narcolepsy is covered under the ADA, but i still dont grasp what that means....
if anyone has tips/suggestions/and things of the sort i would be more than grateful
and a bit of a background: ive had 'sleep' issues since i can remember...(it got bad in highschool and then again in my 2nd year of college with not much improvement since then). I was diagnosed w/ narc w/o cataplexy at the beginning of march....after having a 'failed' sleep study done for sleep apnea (which seems to run in my family), as well as being mis-diagnosed w/ depression for the past 4-6 years or so.
once again....thanks in advance
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:01 PM
Hope this makes sense and helps a little.
Good luck and take care.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 04:09 PM
Hey. I realize this response comes a while after your post but maybe if anyone else is asking this same question it may help. Anyway, my doctor helped me fill out the FMLA paperwork's intermittent section (see first attachment) and my employer accepted it. I personally thought the doctor should have filled out section 7 instead of 6 but either way it worked! Good luck!
Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:38 AM
I can help somewhat with ADA, going thru it now I’ve learned a bit. I’m no expert but for what its worth Ill tell you the basics.
THE ADA protects your rights in two basic ways.
1st - The ADA protects your continuing employment rights if you have a disability. Narcolepsy is a disability under the ADA. This however is not a "get out of jail free" or a "I don't have to do my job but they must pay me." What ADA does is allows you to try to work with your employer so you can do your job. If you cannot do your job ADA will not make them keep you employed. The most common way the ADA protects you is thru what’s known as a Reasonable Accommodation. The way it works is you tell your employer your condition, you must fully disclose your condition and limitations you are trying to protect. In the case of Narcolepsy you may need a scheduled nap during the day but after this your can do your duties as assigned. You ask for a Reasonable Accommodation to allow you the time for that nap. If the request is Reasonable and the Company does not have legitimate reasons not to grant it they must Accommodate you. So for your lateness, you may need to come in at a later hour. Know this however if you are granted the request to come in later but you still arrive late for work anyway you are not protected. ADA works with you but you must abide by what will actually help you do your job. If your lateness is due to Narcolepsy and coming in later will fix that its a good ADA request, if you know in your heart your just going to be late anyway as its your personality to always be late, trying to fix this with ADA is not going to work.
Most people however only look to the ADA after they lose their job, this is the 2nd way ADA protects you. If it is determined you lost your job because of your Narcolepsy you can sue to claim damages, get your job back or other options. This is more tricky however proving it was directly related to Narcolepsy you lost your job. For example, if you claim you were fired because Narcolepsy made you late you must explain why narcolepsy made you late and that your employer knew it was Narcolepsy that made you late. So if you have never told them you have Narcolepsy and tied it to your lateness you have no case. If however you disclosed to them you had Narcolepsy and that is why you were always late and you were immediately fired as a result that’s clear cut ADA.
To make it simple: Suppose I suddenly lose my hearing. Answering phone calls is a part of my job but not a big part. With today's technology I can request a Reasonable Accommodation (1st Protection) so that I can use software that translates phone calls into text. This is reasonable and the Company can accommodate it and I can still do my job fine with this assistance. Everyone wins. But say I start falling behind, I cannot master the software, my job suffers. Then the Company can let me go and I need to pursue Disability for I cannot really do my job anymore. Not the Companies fault here. Lets say however I lose my hearing and the Company fires me as soon as they know without any appeal or warning. (2nd Protection) I am protected under ADA and can sue them. If however they find out I am deaf and explain to me they cannot use me because my job requires I be able to hear and I just accept it without trying in any way to keep my job, I cannot later sue them.
Reasonable Accommodations are varied and tailored to fit the situation, so you must figure out what will help you do you job and ask for that specific accommodation(s). The 1st part of Reasonable Accommodations are easy to set up, you simply have a meeting with your employer, explain your limits and why you have them and ask for the accommodation to overcome those limits. The Company then can advise you if they can grant the accommodation or if not must give you a acceptable reason they cannot. If the Company refuses to talk to you, cannot grant the accommodation because of a questionable reason or fire or punish you for asking, you are protected by the 2nd part of ADA. Like I said however if after you get a Reasonable Accommodation if you don't uphold your end you are just like anyone else doing their job poorly and are subject to being fired just like anyone else would be.
Hope this is helpful.
EDIT** One final note, document everything you do!