has anyone else been fired basically over diabetes?

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has anyone else been fired basically over diabetes?

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Old 12-14-2013, 20:01   #1
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Default has anyone else been fired basically over diabetes?

I live in the US where diabetes is covered by the ADA law. I was having trouble with my glucometer giving false highs, causing me to bolus too much insulin in my pump. That caused crashes and made me miss work several times. Once my doctor and I determined the cause, I told my boss that I was replacing the meter and that my doctor put me on a CGM. The company had already put me on probation for missing work and told me I had to inform my boss in advance if I couldn't work. [Like that is possible during hypoglycemia.]

A month went by w/no problems until I awoke one workday w/a severe stomach virus that kept me from calling the office right away, but I did call. My boss was not working that day so I did not call him. Next thing I new, his bosses told me I violated the condition of informing my boss and fired me.

I checked w/a lawyer and they did everything but violate ADA. Although they knew my problems were due to malfunctioning equipment and that I replaced it and added the CGM for double protection, they fired me anyway over failing to notify my boss when I had the stomach virus. I protested that he was not at work that day and they said nonetheless I had agreed to notify him and didn't.

In other words, I basically was fired over diabetes w/o them officially saying so. Has anyone else endured treatment like this?

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Old 12-14-2013, 20:10   #2
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I won't discuss legal elements here even though I am aware of them, as this should be left to your attorney. I will say, I had a family member that had issues at school with a similar circumstance and the American Diabetes Association helped immensely. You may want to contact them for assistance.

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Old 12-14-2013, 20:22   #3
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Wild Hawg, I am really sorry to hear that. I have had some issues with illness and diabetes (bad head aches, reproductive issues, severe lethargy, nausea), but I am T2 and not on insulin, so have avoided some of the biggies. Still, I have had to miss class - and people generally aren't understanding. Hope that you get this resolved some how.

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Old 12-14-2013, 21:03   #4
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Hi there,
A company cannot fire you over an illness if you can prove with a doctors note that the leave your are taking is necessary..
Its considered foul play otherwise and they could get into a lot of trouble over it!
Hope you work it out!

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Old 12-14-2013, 21:40   #5
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I've known people to be disciplined due to their use of sick leave, and not just for diabetes.

Doctor's notes are key for protection (but, sadly, can be difficult to obtain).

The ideal doctor's note would give an estimated duration, if applicable, and/or would note that a condition can be expected to recur. If needed, the note may go on to list limitations, e.g., standing/sitting, number of hours that can be worked, scheduled meals, etc.

It should also be possible to get a note that documents a past condition, and that states whether or not the condition has been corrected.

Management may demand repeated notes. Notes can sometimes be requested by phone or e-mail. I did this for my husband when his managers demanded monthly notes to verify a chronic condition. We got printable emailed notes, on letterhead.

Please keep us posted!

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Old 12-14-2013, 21:44   #6
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It may be too late but can you check into the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I've never used it and don't know if it is a requirement for all employers to participate. You should be able to miss x amount of time per year for medical reasons, for yourself or the care of family members.

This is a federal law.

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Old 12-14-2013, 23:23   #7
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Unfortunately most states in the US are at will states so really they can let you go at anytime. They can cite many different reasons.....on the other hand......The Americans with disability act should cover you as long as you have been straight forward with your employer...i personally would contact an attorney....the disability act requires them to make reasonable accomodations. As for the FMLA, I had to take it when my mother was terminal and then once returned back to work i had to take it again due to complications of sinus surgery. There are strict guidelines with the FMLA, you have to be in contact with your employer weekly and also have documentation about your illness. It was very time consuming. My dr. would send weekly updates when i had to take it on both occasions. Me, i would contact a attorney and see what my rights were. Employers always try to find loopholes and usually do. Documentation, communication are key in these situations.

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Old 12-15-2013, 08:55   #8
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I was put on probation because of my high sugars. I was a "liability" they said. Told me to get my diabetes under control yet wouldn't let me off work to see a doctor and didn't provide health insurance. So glad I left that job!

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Old 12-15-2013, 10:22   #9
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This is definitely a problem.

I've always gone directly to the top guy to discuss anything like hypo-ing in public. He and others have been sympathetic, but are concerned that I'm a liability as a teacher. Seems like a reasonable concern to me, but I hate it!

I've had my department head visit my classroom and shown her exactly where I keep my pump, CGM and supplies and explained the procedures I follow to avoid on-the job problems. That seemed to help.

I purposely now allow glucose to run high when doing anything at work. Not a great solution, but I can't afford problems in my current situation if I want to keep working. I've only a couple of years before retiring anyway.

Personally, I'd never involve attorneys as that would definitely just make things worse. Best thing for me to do is constantly demonstrate my competence and value to the organization.

It's really hard to do this! The cost physically and emotionally is brutal, but I see no other way.

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Old 12-15-2013, 13:52   #10
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Originally Posted by mbuster View Post
It may be too late but can you check into the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I've never used it and don't know if it is a requirement for all employers to participate. You should be able to miss x amount of time per year for medical reasons, for yourself or the care of family members.

This is a federal law.
Keep in mind, though, FMLA also has protections for employers, built in. My husband once attended a training course that explained how to use FMLA as a supervisor ... it was pretty enlightening.

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