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job refusing to reduce work hours per doctors note

Ok everyone here's my dilemma. I talked with my work about cutting my hours down to half days per my Neurosurgeon's notethat says prolonged activity aggravates my condition. My office manager basically said that if I have to start working half days then they will no longer need me! I cannot believe that because through all of the problems I have had I have not missed a day of work. I push myself to my limit everyday and this is how I am treated in return. I did leave a message for my doctor to let him know what happened and for two days now have played phone tag with his nurse due to the fact that I can't use the phone at my work. Has anyone dealt with this issue if so please advised



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Looking a Small, Medium and Large companies, they may handle this situation differently.
    I've been in this position so many times over the past 35 years. I was very fortunate to have been working for a large company.

    When I presented my physician's note, the immediately complied. No problems, no hassles.

    Now, I do know several people who have had notes, presented it to their company and were rejected.

    1 - Companies do NOT have to abide by the doctors orders.
    2 - If they do comply, reduce your hours, they can use that at a future point in time to dismiss you.
    3 - They may say that in order to do your job, you need to be here xx hours a week. If you cut your hours, you can not do your job, therefore, we will have to let you go.

    There are so many different scenarios. You did not mention what size company you are working for, but I would start with the Human Resource department. They may be some corporate policies that can come to your defense.

    In today's economy, so many companies will not bend and if a person cant do the hours, they find ways in letting them go. And most companies know how to do that so they would not open themselves for any potential law suite.

    Good luck, I understand where you are... Hopefully the HR department can be of some assistance.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • There is a avenue you have to use provided you are not planning on any long term leave of absence. You could use FMLA leave to miss the other half day and protect your job for the amount of time that is available to you under the act. While it says family medical leave act it also applies to you.

    As Ron points out they are not obligated to offer you this. However if your doctor takes you out of work and you use FMLA your good to go. Depending on the size company you work for you can contact the human resources department or look at your employee manual on these situations. If it is a smaller company and you are the only one doing your job, they may not be able to accommodate you. A company didn't hire you as a light duty person, so if the note has no end date and this is to be a permanent situation, then your not going to have much luck, I don't think. Trust me it really bites when you need sometime to heal a bit.
  • Consult with a disability lawyer or someone like that, if you are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, then they can't let you go without making "reasonable accomodations". I didn't think I fell under this category and am not currently on disability, but apparently I did and was fired. It is worth looking into and shouldn't cost you anything. Most of these types of lawyers offer a free consultation and if you do have a discrimination claim, they shouldn't ask for any fees unless you go to trial.

    After being fired for running out of FMLA from a job that I had for 10 years, my life has been upside down. It seems like you are powerless, but it just might be that you have more leverage than you thought. I currently have a lawyer and a complaint filed with the EEOC against my former employer. They are investigating right now. I hope it all works out for you! Good luck! :-)
  • Thanks so much everyone for your input on this. This has been a rollercoaster these last six months. The company I work for is actually a doctors office and the employees include the doctor, his wife, his daughter, a lady that works two half days each week, an office manager who works two full days and two half days and me and I am the only one working 4 full days. I went to my office manager to tell her my doctor wrote me to working no more than 20 hours a week and surprise the same day I go in with this note they have decided they are going to work me 8 hours on Fridays running the office alone for walkins needing glasses adjusted etc.

    They know I have doctors appointments every friday because with it being such a hassle to get them to cover for me during the week I make every effort for all of my appointments to be on Friday. I did have to leave early one day for the mri on my brain and they managed to cover for that.

    I just really feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place and this has forced me to look elsewhere for a job. I really appreciate everyones quick responses. It has definately given me some different options. : )
  • They don't sound too nice. Dare I say, it even sounds like they are wanting you to quit! Hopefully you paid into voluntary short term disability benefits. Check with the office manager. If so, consider applying for FMLA and taking your STD benefits if at all possible. Of course there are other things to consider, but it is another option if you are in a bind.

    Good luck to you! Take good care.
  • Laney,
    I don't really have any advice I just wanted to say I'm so sorry you have to go through this and be treated this way! I am positive that this situation only makes your pain go through the roof!
    I'm so sorry. *gentle hugs*
  • my problem is not cutting back on hours, it is having my school distirct abide by my accommodations from my dr such as being able to sit or stand when need to, not walking more than 100 yards, not taking stairs, etc. these are standard ones but the issue i have is my boss and some teachers thinking i am being a drama queen, exaggerating my issues with pain and back problems. i was waling down the hall with no one around and had to stop due to pain and lean against the fence for a couple of minutes. a fellow teacher came out and has known me for years and did not know that my pain was so bad i had to stop when walking. i could not believe this was not known after i have told people of my pain and back issues. they are oblivious what back pain is and what it does t you. they just think you have pain and that is it. no problem with walking or sitting etc. i think work and co workers are in denial and don't want to hear or deal with our pain even when told
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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