|ST Emp HIV+ ADA - HELP!!
Mar 1, 2006
I have recently become resistant to my HIV regimen and become ill. I told my manager in December that I was ill and would be missing some days due to a long-term illness. Then, in Jan 06 things got worse and I missed nearly 30 days of work in 3 months. I was counseled for attendance, which prompted me to submit a written request for Reasonable Accommodation under ADA to work from home on days I am ill - which is completely capable and others that work for the company work from home.
HR and my supervisor had a meeting with me to respond to my request, but no resolution or accommodation could be made. Since I have only been there 6 months and have missed one of those months d/t being ill, HR says I can be fired and am not covered under FMLA. My supervisor wants me in the office. It is very possible to accommodate me, and yet I was counseled again for attendance. Another meeting to discuss accommodation is set for tomorrow. I am out ill today with an upper respiratory infection.
HR seems to want to help and has told me they do not want to let me go. My supervisor is being difficult, though. HR is telling me that if he doesn't want me to work from home they have to take that guidance and not offer the accommodation.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
| Response from Ms. Breuer
The supervisor's job in reasonable accommodation is to manage performance. The employer, as represented by HR, negotiates the accommodation, advises the supervisor about it and asks the supervisor to manage performance. Your supervisor and HR folks have it exactly backwards.
Unfortunately, the best way to set them straight is to have them (HR)receive a letter on an attorney's letterhead. I realize this isn't free, but it's better than losing your job. Start with your local EEOC office, which has responsibility for making sure that the ADA is applied correctly. There would not be a charge for their services. If they tell you that they're swamped, or that they don't have anyone available to help you until May, then find a lawyer through your local AIDS service organization.
Please do this now. The clock is ticking, and your ignorant supervisor combined with your kind but spineless HR staff could cost you your job.
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