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Can I get fired for this

As many know I lost my mother 3 months ago and have been having a very hard time dealing with her death, MY PCP prescribed valium and I take vicodin. We had had 5 deaths of mothers in a work place of about 20 in the last 3 months. Needless to say work is very depressing, I go to my office and stay there and do my work just to avoid all the sadness. I was called into the office and was told i was being send for a drug screen by cab, i could not drive my car. im not worried about the drug screen because i tale my meds as prescribed. After a bunch of test and a test with the Dr he said i passed all the test , better then most were his words but he wanted to know if my potassium levels have been checked, Bottom line im not allowed to return to work until i see my PCP. Can the fire you for depression?



  • Susan in Aus they can't fire you for depression. I was interested that they are sending you for a check of potassium levels. I have a friend who had an episode and was hospitalised. When they did tests they found she had virtually no potassium in her system. When I looked up the effects of low potassium it can cause hallucinations - both visual and auditory and a lot of other weird things. She now eats at least one banana a day to keep her potassium levels normal. The side effects of low potassium can be very serious. If I were you I would look it up as I think one of the side effects was also depression.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    they will find a way. I have never heard of anyone being laid of because of depression. I know that many companies will help the individual find proper help and counseling.

    I was in management long enough to know that if you need to fire someone you can. You just have to make sure its not directly related to a medical or disability issue. But,

    The person was no longer keeping up with their past performance levels, this is creating a big impact to our production.
    The person has too much time off, creating negative feelings toward them from the rest of the department

    and so on.

    Always keep records of any time away from the office and also communications between you and the supervisor over the past year or so
    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
  • Both low and high potassium are not good things. Don't over do it in how your bringing your numbers up. High potassium has a direct link to heart failure. The condition is known as Hyperkalemia.

    Ron is 100% correct on how they can try to dismiss you from employment. I would recommend that you approach your boss and ask him/her "do you feel I'm doing the best job possible or do you have any suggestions on how I can improve". Note what is said. It's at least some protection if they say you're doing fine one day and the next day they try to dismiss you.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    The test was given and came back negative and the Dr called and said he was clearing me for work. Work stated not until i saw my pcp. Here is where is gets interesting. I received the paper work from the Dr the company sent me to and my employer wrote I had slurred speech,abnormal gait and was drooling on myself. If that is the case then why my PCP is questioning wasnt a ambulance called. My pcp knows I do not abuse my meds. Her major concern was a stroke or mini TIA. SINCE I work in a Dr office it is protocol to call a ambulance for a patient presenting with these symptoms.Just a FYI my PCP works for the same company just a different office. Her exact words to me was to watch my back there is something fishy with the whole thing.She released me for work and I called my boss, her response was she would get back with me later that day to clear me to return Monday. I have not heard from her. At this point I dont know what to do, this will make the start of week 3 with no pay. Any suggestions
  • I would recommend that you take a look at the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to watch and see if they do anything procedurally incorrect.

    As much as I have contempt for some lawyers, you may want to see if you can get a consultation with an ADA attorney. Perhaps if your employer knows you're playing hard ball they will back off.

    I wish you the best. Your situation is very touchy.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Within 10 minutes of my phone call I received the call to return to work, I was told I know longer am permitted to take meds while working. This will never happen, I will not be able to work without them. Im thinking it is time to call it quits. My job is a desk job and I work in accounting. I gave it a good fight after 8 surgeries to remain active and employed but employers make it impossible
  • Since they say you cannot take your physician prescribed medication I wonder if that restriction also carries over to employees who take heart medicine while working. Or, what about diabetes medication? When you go to work are you in a position where you could cause harm to another person because of your medication? See where I'm going with this? If they are restricting YOUR physician prescribed medication, are they also restricting others medications? If not, is that not discrimination? A skilled lawyer might be able to help...albeit expensive.

    Of course it's your decision to either stay or leave and I respect that tremendously. When employers start acting like this, the workplace becomes very tense and sucks.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My job requires no patient care other then phone call pertaining to billing. I am in a office by myself and am ranked number 2 in a network of 79 offices as far as numbers go so they really cannot complain that I am not doing my job. My numbers are even better the specialty offices. All my performance reviews are great and receive a yearly bonus on every dime I bring in over the projected amount. I have been there 3 years without one complaint until now. We have a girl that works the front desk that takes xanax 3 times daily and will even fall asleep at her desk, Her mother was found brutally murdered so everything she does is overlooked. She has daily errors in her work but nothing is ever being done to her. It has been a very hard year at our office and I think everyone is on some sort of medication. My mother passed away in Sept, then another mother passed away Oct, a granddaughter died from complications of vaccinations and then another mother passed away right before Christmas, I volunteered to work the front desk for these girls when each needed to be with their families. My boss had no problems with that. I worked all the holidays for everyone to be with their families. I go over and beyond my job duties. It was very embarrassing to walk thru the doors that first day. I have also been told i need to return to Medworks for a re-evaluation in one month. Discrimination you bet ya.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Since I have come back, i keep to myself afraid to even talk to anyone due to false allegations. It is so stressful at work. I had asked for a half day vacation to take my father to his best friends funeral. I was told that it was fine. The woman I mentioned earlier of her mother being murdered last year was having a bad day that day. So my boss comes to me and tells me that she cant let me have my vacation day because said person is having a bad day and she is sending her home in a few hours. First of all why wait a few hours if she is in that bad of shape. When it came time for her to leave i was called up front to do her job. I was checking in a patient and she asked me to move so she could get to her meds, i told her to hang on one second while i finished checking the patient in, she didn't like the answer and shoved me. I went to my boss and said look i am taking a lot of crap here but will not tolerate being pushed and shoved. Of course said employee denied doing this so i told my boss to pull the tapes from the cameras. She refused and nothing was done. I find out later that day that she and my boss were at the bar drinking. Im in a no win situation., If I file a complaint with corp. you might as well say im fired, that is how they work. Ive been looking for a new job but now with the broken foot no one is going to hire me. I feel so stuck and to be honest think this employee is a ticking time bomb and I am going to be the target. She is telling everyone i am out to bet her. How would everyone else handle this
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    what you are describing sounds like you are a target.
    When you have legitimate concerns and bring them forward , you would at least expect to be listened to and told that they will look into the matter. I understand what you mean by what could happen if you file a complaint.

    My advice would be to:

    • - Keep yourself clean so that no one can try to finger you for anything
      - Document everything. The meeting with your manager, the incident with other employees
      - If things are communicate via email, save them all
      - Dont talk to anyone else about what you feel is happening
    Companies, small, medium and large all have ways in targeting people. Then there are also those that are above the law and no matter what they do, its fine. But if someone else does the same thing, they are fired. Not fair.
    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
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Do I feel like a target, sure do. The one person on my side is my bosses superior. We are secretly looking into transferring to another location. It is the waiting for a job to open up that is the hard part, That could take awhile. Tomorrow couldn't be soon enough for me . The funny part is when all this started is when I volunteered to work for all the girls during Thanksgiving, the day after thanksgiving , Christmas eve and the day after Christmas so they could all spend time with their loved ones that were soon to pass or they were dealing with the first holidays without their loved ones. Yes it was my first holiday without my mother but I felt the other employees needed to spend the last holidays they would have with their mothers and to be honest I didn't celebrate this year. I was asked on December 30th to work for the employee whos mother was murdered and i said no that i had worked all the holidays for the girls and I didn't consider it a major holiday along with the fact it was end of the year closing the books and I was behind due to working all the hours for them. I still had planned to work New years eve just do my own work,10 minutes later i was told to report to med works for the drug screen, This was all retaliation for refusing to work for her. My quality of work has not suffered, I just received a 3,000 bonus for bringing in money over the expected amount. Directly from my bosses superiors mouth she told me she had to fight with my boss over me getting the bonus and would not accept the things i was accused of. At least I have her on my side. Walking thru those doors every morning i actually feel sick to my stomach not knowing what the day will bring. I was pulled from my job yesterday and made to work for the employee that I am having issues with so she could get a hair cut. SERIOUSLY!!! Im in a no win situation and am praying for a transfer soon.
  • I so feel for you, Susan and what you are going through with you job. There is definetly NOTHING fair about what your peers are putting you through there. I think I would take Ron's advice and document everything and I, personally, would be talking to a lawyer about what is going on. It is very clear that they are wanting you gone. I would have all my ducks in a row when the day comes and they let you go for whatever reason they come up with.
  • Hope3HHope3 Posts: 751
    edited 03/29/2014 - 6:59 AM
    It is bad enough to deal with the health issues and then have to battle to work environment.
    I am so sorry you are going through that at work and for sure I dealt with that too after I got
    hurt everyone I thought were my close co-workers turned their back.
    I had a real tough time when I got hurt with work, I was in a management position had been
    for 29 years. My performance before getting hurt was on the mark. I will never forget giving
    it my best even working from home during the night to complete paperwork etc. The personnel
    Manager told me I was doing a fantastic job given my health issues. I could not do it and for
    me that was lost and to take disability meant failure. That was the way I was raised you worked
    never took a dime from anyone. Anyway the next week the Manager came in my office and said
    "I have never had a hard time telling someone like telling you but we cannot support the hours you
    are missing due to health issues". I was furious one week it is alright and the next week "see you".
    Anyway I applied for disability and the Plant Manager would not sign it, he said if a person can
    walk they can work. I had give this company my life, loved it, got high reviews on and on.
    The Doctor wrote a letter to my Plant Manager and the next week he signed the paperwork to put
    me on leave.
    There are good people out there but then like we all know there are ones who do what it takes
    to get their needs taken care of. Everyone here gave you excellent advice I pray this works
    out for you!
  • Is there an opening at one of the other 79 offices? Or are some of them too far geographically for a commute? I understand you don't want a long one when you have pain issues.

    You say you're #2 of 79, you consistently get bonuses, you have excellent employee reviews. There's no reason why another office wouldn't love to have you on their team. I know that would also mean maybe having a lot of clean up to do if the other person didn't have such good numbers as you do, but you really need to get out of there. A broken foot isn't everything, I walk in 110 pounds overweight with a cane and have still been hired. A broken foot is temporary.

    I really hope you can find a solution to get out of there. From what you describe, you're never going to make it work where you are. It's not your fault at all. I know what it feels like to be targeted and I'm sorry you're going through it. As dilauro said, document EVERYTHING. You don't need to be fired at your current job if you work at a company with many other offices. You can go yourself to request a move.
    (see profile for medical details)

    I *heart* my TENS unit.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My bosses superior actually had me apply for a manager position at another location and I have a interview with the Dr next week. This job will be close to home, less stress it is a much smaller practice.But a promotion. Everything with this company moves at such a slow place that could be a month before any move is made. I drive a 45 minute commute now so distance really isnt a factor to me. I could move to corporate office immediately but I dont want to pay the 50.00 a week parking fee downtown ( cannot afford it ). I am sitting here this morning contemplating calling in sick. I actually fill ill with the thought of walking in that place.I try to tell myself , just go to work do my job and go home. easier said then done. I think what bothers me the most is that I have given 100% of myself for this job, gone way over what was expected. Learned everyone elses job just to be able to help out if needed. I think I do that out of guilt from my spine issues and try to make myself a more valuable employee. My boss and I used to be good friends and then poof it was gone. There is one thing I did not mention because I didnt really think it mattered until someone else brought this to my attention. My boss is gay ( which i have no problem with) I have been asked if it is possible that she had a crush on me and I turned her down. Put it this way, we used to have the occasional beer after work and when her partner would calll her she would lie and say she was on her way home. I didnt want any part of this so i stopped accepting her invites. I saw no reason for her to lie to her partner about what she was doing if there were no hidden agendas. I hate the fact of all this going on due to the love I have for my job. I wanted to retire from there. As for documenting, I document everything, always have. Rule number one in my profession is document everything to cover your butt if needed. You always have the upset patient ect ect. along with corporate getting things incorrect. One example would be they have me out of FLMA time. According to my records I still have 2 weeks left. We are still working on that issue. That has been since August. I suspect my boss during slow times would send me home to save on the budget and I believe she turned it in as FMLA.
  • I am sorry to hear about the difficult work environment has become. I honestly would suck up the $50 and get the heck out, your peace of mind and health are more important. You can always look into taking a disability leave for the stress/depression. I would not let them force me out. You have a potential legal case if you can prove this.

    How can they legally tell you not to take your medicine. This way they can trap you by having a bad day or something they can state you have not performed your duties. Please look at your situation. Only you can advocate for yourself. good Luck. Your health is worth more than this junk.
    L5/S1 TLIF July 18, 2013
    4 Screws 2 Rods and BMP
    Post surgery L4 Dermatones
  • I suspect it's time to get a lawyer on retainer to build up a case. They clearly are trying to fire you and you seem to have a lot of proof that puts them in the wrong. The FMLA thing is fraud and. Any good lawyer could write up a letter to scare them into shaping up. If you wait until they fire you, then at least you'd be in position to sue right away.

    DO NOT QUIT. Your boss is hoping to make things miserable enough that you'll do the work for them and quit. Don't let that happen. Please hold on. Keep showing up for work and doing your best. What they are doing is illegal and you are being wronged.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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