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ADA accommodation and Medical Discharge

TWHladyinLVTTWHladyinLV Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
I am at the end of my rope now....
I tried to get an accomodation through the ADA office. They told me if I could get the paperwork filled out by my MD before my LOA ran out it would at the least buy me more time for treatment. My PCP doc would not fill out the papers because he said he wasn't qualified to rate my back and lifting issues. I have several medical conditions that under the ADA would qualify that he has treated me for but he still would not fill out the papers. I asked him who does the rating and he said he didn't know. Now I have run out of time and options and am just waiting for the pink slip. My director will not grant an additional LOA.
I tried to get all this done last February and my PCP sent me to a Pain Management MD thinking he could do the rating, bit that was a big waste of time. Just getting the referral and getting the appointment set took several months. Then my supervisor along with 2 assistant directors called me into a private meeting and told me that I asked for the accommodation I would be terminated. So I dropped it. Then I re injured my back in July at work again and do not know where to go for help. I have been severely depressed, in a lot of pain, and am not getting any support from my husband or my doctors. I told the WC Administrator at the Atty office about the ADA issue and they brushed me off saying they don't know anything about ADA. If I ever get the chance to move out of Las Vegas I surely would go as the medical care here is deplorable.


  • I'm not sure I understand. You are currently out of work from an injury in July? So you should be under workers comp. From your med history you had surgery last year and are having additional problems.

    So you must have a surgeon. Have you spoken to them? Usually they have to approve you returning to work and will put any limitations on that.

    As far as ADA that only goes so far. It can get you things like a better chair or a higher desk. If you can't do the job requirements it won't save your job. So depending on what you are looking for this might not be the right angle.

    What exactly are you looking for that would allow you to work better? Maybe that would help someone who has gone through this direct you.
  • Yes I have a surgeon . He did my neck dnd back surguries but now thinks I may have MS so he is un willing to move forward with any treatments like PT or anything! He said I could go back light modified duty but my employer says they don't have any.
    I was wanting a low work chair for unpacking boxes on the ground. And maybe a scooter for long distance walking.
  • I think it sounds like you are asking for accommodations that are beyond what the ADA would require. A scooter isn't really an accommodation. And a job change is not an accommodation- those are things your employer would have to approve.

    But if this is a work related injury, you might have other recourse with your employer. Do you have a workers comp lawyer?
  • According to the ADA website what I am asking is not unreasonable. I even printed out pages from websites of companies that make things like low-work chairs for ADA related stuff. Yes I have an Atty but they don't do ADA stuff. Just the WC issues. I was told it was illegal for my supers to frighten me out of going through with the ADA process the first time. Then I tried to get it done but ran out of time. My pay is more than hLf ou our income. My home will be gone along with my husbands job because his employer doesn't keep anyone who has any credit problems because of security reasons.
  • You are going through this.

    The only thing that saved me from a similar fate is an inept Human resources person who has since left the company.

    My PM would not file an assessment of my abilities, he told me I needed an assessment done by a doctor who specialized in such things. even gave me a name.

    I did not ask for a referral as work should have required me to be assessed and in that case they will pay for it.

    The now gone HR staffer called me last November about my screwed up paperwork as the PM put down that I had restrictions but would not put down that they are or should be permanent. This staffer talked to me and once she understood where I was at she told me she would call me back in two days and let me know what her supervisor wanted us to do.

    SHE NEVER CALLED! I thought about looking into it, but my supervisor here, my wife and my coworkers all said to wait for them to make the next move.

    I found out a few months back that the HR staffer had left the dept after it was suggested she find a new job...as in she wasn't doing hers!

    Where my file is and what it may say, I have ZERO knowledge of.

    I hope you can find a way to keep things together and sure hate to hear that they will not assist you at all in getting acomidations.
    I have spoken several times to an ex neighbor that worked here. When he tried to return after a failed rotator cuff surgery his dept flat out said, "No we do not have any Light duty positions". and he was placed on disability.
  • Sounds like you need to look into the MS. Why would the surgeon refuse to treat you because of that? I would think he would refer you to a neurologist(?? not sure if that is the correct specialty) who could do a diagnosis. Or back to your PCP who should be able to handle the paperwork if you do in fact have MS.

  • But I think you're misinterpreting some of it. Yes, there are special chairs- and if you can do the job you are hired for with purchase of such a chair that would be an ADA accommodation. But you're mixing up two different things with changing the job description AND buying you a different chair.

    If the job description requires lifting, twisting, bending- and you are unable to do any of those, they are not required to change the job around completely to match your new capabilities. All it says is that they can't discriminate against you because of the nature of or the existance of your disability. It doesn't mean they can't take your current capabilities into consideration, or that they have to spend unlimited funds to bolster those capabilities.

    And I've never heard of a company buying a scooter under ADA. That's a huge expense, both for purchase and maintenance.

    ADA does not require them to keep you on even if you are disabled and unable to do the duties in the job description. Workers comp might have some protections for your job if you were injured at work.

    From the ADA website:
    A. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by an individual with a disability; restructuring a job; modifying work schedules; acquiring or modifying equipment; providing qualified readers or interpreters; or appropriately modifying examinations, training, or other programs. Reasonable accommodation also may include reassigning a current employee to a vacant position for which the individual is qualified, if the person is unable to do the original job because of a disability even with an accommodation. However, there is no obligation to find a position for an applicant who is not qualified for the position sought. Employers are not required to lower quality or quantity standards as an accommodation; nor are they obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids.
  • On the other hand, if you have MS and all of these injuries, I wonder if you'd qualify for SSDI?

    And I agree with Kris that you should have the MS diagnosis looked into. Does UNLV have a medical center?
  • If you are employed in the private sector and injured while at work, your employer will be under the guide lines of work comp. Now if your employer has never let anyone return to work under light duty conditions, then they won't have to for you as well. NOw if they have let others return and just not you, there is a statue ticking from the onset of them not allowing you to do so.

    AS far as them helping you with ADA, the question becomes reasonable. The word reasonable in itself is very broad, and depending on your job may or may not be reasonable. For example say someone works for the post office at the counter a reasonable request would be for them to have a chair to sit in during the day. A unreasonable request is say you traveled about for the employer and could no longer drive and you were going to assume the cost of hiring someone to drive you, that would be unreasonable because it puts the driver in a employment situation with the employer. Now the scooter your requesting to have on the floor maybe deemed unreasonable as a safety issue depending the area. Now if you purchase the scooter and use it at work, could be a different situation. But if your asking the employer to purchase it, then they could set themselves up for making the same very costly accommodations for others. That is why the word "reasonable" is used in the broad sense of the word. While you might not think it is unreasonable your employer may find that a scooter would not allow you to function in the job as anyone else.

    As far as the rating goes, most ratings are done by surgeons. Sense you have already had surgery, that would be more logical for he/she to do the rating. The testing for the MS would be under your private policy so i would jump all over getting that done. It is typical with spine issues and work comp to see this issue arise, with the MS. But if the doctor you are seeing is a work comp doctor they can't perform any testing or will work comp pay for that as it is out of the scope of a work comp injury.

    From what i gather your in Nevada which is a "employment at will" state which means your employer can terminate your employment at any time, even though you are on a work comp claim. Most employers have a policy as to when they terminate someone for their inability to return to work. On another note returning to work on a light duty status also has to have a reasonable amount of time for the light duty to end say 6 weeks or something to that effect. There is no such thing as returning to work and having permanent light duty status.

    I understand your frustrations with your job and the whole process, you have to take the ball and run with it getting the MS resolved sooner than latter. Your primary should be able to either order the test or get you into see someone. Explain your situation that your going to end up unemployed if this isn't resolved one way or another. Once the MS is resolved the work comp surgeon can pick back up. Your basically talking about a brain MRI to resolved it.

    While I know none of this is easy nor does it sound fair, till the laws are changed it is what we have to work with, unfortunately. But I would start at your primary for the ms, then once it is resolved the surgeon should be able to fill out the paper work you need and assist in helping the spine issues.
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