Jul 18, 2004
I recently wrote in this forum about My employer not honoring a request, from my drs limiting my working hours. I have taken 2 request to my immediate manager, (requesting 12 hours a day or 60 hours a week). This was resonabale accomidation. After the first request I began to get write ups (none prior to the request), and my immediate manager started talking about my availability too do my job. I have missed 2 days in a year. I filed a complaint and a charge was issued with the EEOC. I recently quit becuse of the working conditions and the harrassment that i was encountering. The last days of me working, my district manager did not even acknowlege me being in the store for three days (he actully snarled at me when he walked by me). I feel like this was retaliation for me filing the compalint. I am now HIV positive, on meds with NO insurance. I called the EEOC about the status of the charge, they said that my employer did not recieve the paperwork, and they gave them 30 more days. The charge was filed on April 1, 2004. THEY did recieve it, i personally sent it (unopened) priority over night to Human Resources and it was signed for. This is a nation wide company with in excess of 500 employees. What do you suggest i do now? I do not have income to pay for cobra insurance, my salary was too high in the past to qualify for aide. I am just lost, confused, and tired of all the "not" knowings.
| Response from Ms. Breuer
When an immediate supervisor does not respond to a request for reasonable accommodation, the best next step is to bump it "upstairs" to human resources. A national store with more than 500 employees surely has an HR department. Certainly if an accommodation request is ignored and writeups that you haven't had before begin to follow, THEN you go to HR. Instead, you went to the EEOC, which alienates your best internal resource: HR.
When you quit (in a spiral of self-pity?), you closed a door that contacting HR could have left open. You don't say what your employee handbook says about FMLA leave, disability leave, reasonable accommodation--but all of these are topics of potential conversation with your employer. You acted on the version of the story in your own head without learning what version was in the employer's head.
You have left yourself with only one option: contact the benefits manager at your local AIDS service organization and find out what you can do through him/her. Each state's benefits are different.
Please allow me to say that if I am reading your email correctly and you see yourself as a victim, things are not going to improve much. If you are taking responsibility for the outcome and trying to find out how to structure a better situation for yourself now, then you're on the healthier track. I wish you well.
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