Thursday, April 4, 2013

Is Your Job Affecting Your Health?

Confused Businesswoman In Office" by imagerymajestic
A chronic pain suffer doesn't have to go to work and do things that cause your pain to increase or aggravate your injury on a daily basis.  Before speaking to anyone in your companies Human Resources department, go through the companies policies and procedures.  Search for the policies and procedures to find your company's policy on handling people who have disabilities or restrictions that limit what they can do physically.  The policies may vary between cases that are Workman's compensation injuries or illness vs injuries or illnesses that non-work related.

It is important to find the policies so that you can determine what your company is willing to do to help you, especially, if your case isn't work related.  Non-work related injuries or illness are be covered under the American Disabilities Act (ADA).  ADA says that employers can't discriminate against individuals who have a disability.  In order to be protected under the ADA, you must have a physical or mental disability that substantially impacts one or more major areas of your life.  The ADA also states that companies should offer an employee reasonable accommodations for individuals who have a physical or mental disability, unless is causes undue hardship for the employer. 

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only and shouldn't replace getting legal advice, if necessary. 

You may have to provide your employer documentation to help your employer determine if you qualify for protection under ADA.  This documentation can come from your doctor or your employer's doctor.  Do cooperate with your employer to provide them with the necessary documentation that proves you have a disability.

According to the ADA act and the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that employers must provide employees or applicants with reasonable accommodations with known disabilities, unless it causes undue hardship for the employer.  This was created so that people with physical or mental disabilities can enjoy employment opportunities as their co-workers who don't have a disability.  You will generally have to ask your employer for a reasonable accommodations.  Some examples of a reasonable accommodations include but aren't limited to:
  • modified work schedules
  • ability to work part time if needed   
  • job restructuring
  • job reassignment to a vacant position
  • make facilities accessible
  • acquiring or modifying equipment
  • change test, training materials, or policies
Most employers evaluate reasonable accommodations on a case by case basis.  But as an individual with a disability, it is important that you know your rights.  Also, the employer is required to make reasonable accommodations so that you have an opportunity to work if you are able to, unless it causes the undue hardships.


Please seek the advice from a lawyer if you feel like your employer or future employer violated your rights to a reasonable accommodation.

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