I work for University Medical Center. I am a non-medical staff member. Right now I am sitting at home because an employee persued me in a discussion I asked to hold off on. I have diabetes and wasn't feeling well at all. So I asked to continue the discussion later. I left the conference, clocked out and he was right there in my face continuing to demand to go on with the discussion. My head was hurting my blood-sugar was very low. My diabetes was my first concern. But he wouldn't let it go, even though I was off the clock and tried to leave. Two days later, I was called after hours by our manager and director and told not to come in until 12noon when I would meet with HR. Meanwhile, I am at home only speculating what this is about because they would not tell me. HR is doing interviews/investigating and my side is not being told. I have a 2pm appointment today, rescheduled from 12noon Wednesday. I need advice on what I should say and do?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Nevada
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Did you respond in a negative way to this person's attempts to continue the conversation? Did you let them know as you were leaving that you were leaving due to this medical issue?
I said leave it alone and I tried to leave. No I did not say I was not felling well
Yes he was yelling so I yelled back
Are there any written policies at the Medical Center that pertain to discipline, notice, hearing, etc...?
No only a union contract. That states 24 hour notice unless aggregious
egregious and that I am allowed union representation.
Representation at this appointment, you mean?
Yes, but I am off work with no pay so far. I was eating during the meeting that proceeded the altercation in an attempt to get my blood sugar up. It is well known that I have diabetes. I was clocked out and tried to leave. I don't even remember the argument. It's like I wasn't there. I just remember telling him to leave it alone, he wouldn't and then responding to his barrage of comments. He was raising his voice so I raised mine because he was a man standing less the 2 feet in front of me. I was light headed, my sugar was so low and the reaction was anger because I was so off center. My eyes even hurt. I had to pull over on the way home because I felt as if I was going to have a stroke.
Were there witnesses to this occurrence?
Yes but I think what they will say is that I was yelling which I was but I was so out of it. I don't remember
Thank you. You should certainly have representation at this meeting, and try to communicate through this representative. Of course you should give your side of the story, communicating everything that you remember, and try to make it as "play by play" as possible. But of course at some point in the story, you're going to not remember what was said and done, and that's the point in the story where you raised your voice. At this point there's no benefit in staying quiet or not telling your side of the story. You should not be apologetic, and maintain that you took every reasonable step under the circumstances and given your history with diabetes. You ate, trying to up your blood sugar, and when that didn't work, you tried to leave so that you would not be a danger to yourself or others, and this individual would not let you leave.
Make certain that when you talk to them, request "reasonable accommodations" in light of your "disability" here. Use those words, as they are the key words for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and would put them on notice that you're considering your legal options should they take action against you.
It will make them less likely (although won't remove the possibility) to take adverse action against you.
And you should certainly have your union representation with you, constantly checking with that individual, etc... Be kind, gentle, deferential, but also firm in your position and subtlety affirming your rights. Don't go out and say that you will sue them if they terminate you, etc... but use the words "reasonable accommodations" for your "disability" and that you think that they're required by law to do so, etc...
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?
One more thing, I don't know 100% that this is the issue I am being reprimanded for. I was not told anything. I am just assuming because this happened. As far as I know I didn
didn't do anything else.
Should I write a statement before going? Do I write a statement there? How do I deal with the fact that they did not give me any information but are conducting some kind of investigation against me? From a legal stand point?
Having everything written out before hand would be a good idea so that your union rep can review it before the meeting. As for the investigation, so long as they give you an opportunity to be heard after being informed of the accusations (even if that opportunity is immediately after being informed) that would suffice unless there was a specific requirement for notice regarding the nature of the investigation. If there's only notice regarding the meeting but not the nature, there's not going to be any recourse regarding that aspect. So that's why you should go prepared.
What about keeping me off work without pay without telling me why?
How do I prepare if I don't know?
Certainly prepare based upon your best guess (this incident that you told me about).
As for keeping you off work, that's up to the actual bargaining agreement and any policies in place, but without something to the contrary, they can suspend you without pay and without a reason.
The only thing that would change that would be a specific provision in the bargaining agreement or any employment policies otherwise.
So do you think I have a chance with my diabetes episode? Or am I done (terminated)? Do I have any recourse regarding this?
Again, if your bargaining agreement gives you additional rights, you might have some recourse. It's hard to say whether you're "done", but I think that based upon the fact that you have a good excuse and they might have potential liability (long shot, but possible) if they take adverse action against you with knowledge of your disability, they open themselves up to a discrimination claim.
They might try to avoid that, especially if they feel that you might file against them.
ok Thank you very much for your time and your responses. I think you have given me my answers. Thank you again.
My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
Ok I will rate you. Thank you
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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