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wallstreetfighter
wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience:  14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
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I was diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression in 2012. I

Customer Question

I was diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression in 2012. I had disclosed this information to my HR Manager because I am on medication and have to inform that I have RXs on me in the office. I had a few small depressive episodes in April and May. The week of May 7th I asked if I could work from home on day I was having problems. I was told no by my HR Manager. I work from home all the time at night and on the weekends and others at our company have scheduled days that they are allowed to work from home. It was never looked into. My depression has take a turn for the worse especially since the events from my last question. I was written up for attendance even though I had a doctor's note. That last episode was about 45 days ago. After that I came across a job posting that was similar to my job and questioned my HR Manager and Director about it. They stated that they needed to have a backup in case key personnel leaves and yes it was my job, but that they did not want me to go anywhere, they wanted me to stay. After that my work environment became uncomfortable and I began to notice responsibilities being shifted from me. Things seemed stable for a couple weeks, but the job ad was still up and I was training the HR assistant on more of my responsibilities. I was starting to worry for my job. I did research on my depression and spoke with my therapist and my depression meets all three criteria to be covered under ADA. September 5, I had an actual breakdown. I was notified by the department of corrections that the man who raped me 17 years ago had moved back into the area and it triggered something mentally. I was already running late to work that morning and the news sent me into a panic attack. I was in a depressive state for about 9 to 10 days. I contacted my therapist and psychiatrist and worked through it, but I was missing time at work. For a few days I would try to go in but I could not bring myself out of my depression to do so. I finally asked to return to work 9/16/13. I asked them for an accommodation for the time I had off and my therapist is writing me a detailed letter for my employers. Monday I returned the HR Director and Manger sat me down, asked how I was doing and said that the time off was fine, but eluded there would be consequences. Today and earlier this week I found out they interviewed people for my position. Even though I already have a payroll backup, I was asked to train the HR assistant on payroll and set her up with a user profile even though she is a temp. Meetings in my department are happening without me and the HR assistant and Manager are locking their doors even when I am in my office. I did research on the ADA regulations, for I am going to school for HR Management, and after speaking with my doctor I qualify for protection. I even sent my HR manager a document prepared by the EEOC regarding this issue. I feel now that I will have to quit to avoid getting fired. I don't want to do that. I love what I do. This past week my environment has been unfriendly, sometimes hostile, and I don't know what to do. I would like to know what my right are now? Should I file a complaint with the EEOC? If I am fired, can that me unlawful termination?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.

wallstreetfighter :

Hello and welcome. My name isXXXXX am a Licensed practicing attorney and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

wallstreetfighter :

Did you ask for Reasonable accommodations as per the ADA?

wallstreetfighter :

Do you feel your disability is the reason for the treatment?

wallstreetfighter :

Are you part of a Union or do you have a contract?

Customer:

I asked to work from home once and this last time I had an episode I asked for a reasonable accommodation for the time off

wallstreetfighter :

You should not quit, as you would not be able to obtain unemployment benefits,

wallstreetfighter :

it would be risky to do that,

Customer:

Yes. I feel that because my depression, I am being treated different than someone else who may have diabetes or cancer. I am being treated like this because I missed the time due to my disability

Customer:

no I don't work for a union or have a contract

wallstreetfighter :

what you should do is send a letter to the HR, stating that you feel you are being discriminated due to your disability and your request for reasonable accommodations

wallstreetfighter :

If they fail to act, consider filing an EEOC complaint,

wallstreetfighter :

they will investigate the matter, and in most cases the employer

Customer:

if they fire me they will want me to sign a separation agreement

Customer:

will that stop me from being able to file a EEOC claim

wallstreetfighter :

you should only sign an agreement if they offer you a significant severance,

wallstreetfighter :

you should not sign it unless they allow for a severance, or will not contest unemployment benefits,

wallstreetfighter :

If you sign a separation agreement, you would nnot

wallstreetfighter :

be able to file an EEOC complaint.

Customer:

the most I will get in severance would be 2 weeks

Customer:

I work in the HR department

wallstreetfighter :

I would not sign it,

wallstreetfighter :

I would file an EEOC complaint as soon as possible,

wallstreetfighter :

and they may offer you a large severance to drop the case

wallstreetfighter :

To file a claim with the EEOC, contact the nearest local EEOC office. More information about filing a claim with the EEOC can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html.








EEOC — Cincinnati Area Office
550 Main Street
Suite 10019
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNN
TTY:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/td>
EEOC — Cleveland District Office
1660 West Second Street
Suite 850
Cleveland, OHNNN-NN-NNNN
Phone:(NNN) NNN-NNNN
TTY:(NNN) NNN-NNNN/td>
Customer:

I have been all over that site lately

Customer:

Should I still write the letter to the HR department?

wallstreetfighter :

I would send the letter threatening an EEOC complaint first,

wallstreetfighter :

that may force them to try to settle with you

Customer:

I worry that will make my environment worse

wallstreetfighter :

if they fail to act, you should file the complaint,

Customer:

When you say act, what does that mean?

wallstreetfighter :

I would not quit, or accept any separation agreement as it may hurt you in obtaining unemployment benefits.

wallstreetfighter :

They should try to settle with you either change the work environment,

wallstreetfighter :

or provide you accommodations,

wallstreetfighter :

or offer you a larger severance,

Customer:

If I find other employment, can I still file?

wallstreetfighter :

yes,

wallstreetfighter :

you have 180 days to file,

Customer:

I truly feel that if I write the letter to the HR department that it will become even worse at my job. I love my job, and that is what sucks. I feel like I am being pushed out.

wallstreetfighter :

At this point you have no other choice,

wallstreetfighter :

if you do not want to send a letter, consider filing an EEOC complaint first,

wallstreetfighter :

and if they retaliate against you,

wallstreetfighter :

you can sue them for retaliation

Customer:

Ok. Any site suggestions where I can reference such a letter to use as an example.

wallstreetfighter :

The link above have samples you can use,

Customer:

appreciate that!

wallstreetfighter :

Once you file the EEOC complaint you are given Federal protection from retaliation,

wallstreetfighter :

so if they continue to treat you that way,

wallstreetfighter :

or make it worse for you, consider speaking to an attorney about a lawsuit,

wallstreetfighter :

Good luck, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Customer:

ok. I debating which to do first the letter or the complaint\

wallstreetfighter :

It is better to do the letter,

wallstreetfighter :

as you can tell the EEOC you gave them a chance to change and they failed.

Customer:

so just tell them that I feel that I am being discriminated against because of the reasonable accommodations of time off I requested for my disability and have taken in the past?

Customer:

and that I am contemplating filing a complaint with the EEOC?

wallstreetfighter :

yes, and give examples of the harassment, and state if they fail to take action you will have to file an EEOC

Customer:

the examples would be the interviewing for my job and comments about how fell apart when I was out

wallstreetfighter :

yes

Customer:

ok

wallstreetfighter :

and the failure to provide you with reasonable accommodations for your disability

Customer:

My HR Manager is not smart she is going to scream at me and ask me "what action to you expect us to take"

Customer:

lol

wallstreetfighter :

that is fine, then file the EEOC

Customer:

can they fire me for something like wearing the wrong shoes on the manufacturing floor or being late from lunch, or will that be considered retailiation even if I have not filed the claim. Sorry for all the questions

wallstreetfighter :

if made after the complaint, it would be retaliation,

wallstreetfighter :

if they want to fire you, they have to make sure you intentionally violated company policy

Customer:

I think they will do that after they get the letter.

wallstreetfighter :

Then you file the EEOC complaint, and file for unemployment benefits,

Customer:

cool

Customer:

thanks

Customer:

I hate this, because I love where I work :( Are you a new yorker

wallstreetfighter :

yes

Customer:

me too

Customer:

I figured from the screen name.

Customer:

I trust you even more.

wallstreetfighter :

That is good,

wallstreetfighter :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Customer:

new Yorkers don't beat around the bush!

Customer:

thanks for everything!

Customer:

and I will

wallstreetfighter :

right

wallstreetfighter, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience: 14 years exp, General counsel for National Corp. firms, Hostos College instructor, Represented employees in discrimination lawsuits
wallstreetfighter and 8 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


I have written my letter to my HR director. My question is if I am asked if I have consulted an attorney how should I respond? I am turning it into my director tomorrow. I know I am going to get an immediate response. Can I ask him to keep it confidential, not include my manager at this time


 

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
You can state you have seeked legal information and that if you have no other choice you will retain a law firm.

You should advise them to keep everything confidential.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I received a letter from my HR manager asking for a questionnaire to be completed by my doctor regarding my disability which I understand. But I was told I could not return to work until I have it completed because they need to know that I am capable of performing the essential functions of my position of employment on a full time basis so that they can have a better understanding of my circumstances. Can they tell me that I can't come back to work till I have this completed? Is that legal?

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
It is allowed under the law, it is not the best practice however it would be allowed, if you submit the medical information and they delay the reasonable accommodations request you would have a valid discrimination lawsuit.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


I would like to send you the document they want my doctor to fill out. I think it is worded to have me fired either way it is completed. If she says I am impaired and can't complete the essential duties I think they will say they can't accommodate me. If she says that I can do all the duties then they will mark all my missed work as unexcused and fire me. I am trying to find an attorney in my area, but it has not been so easy. Do you mind reviewing the document?

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
That is fine
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Attachment: 2013-10-03_195537_medical_certification.pdf

Attachment: 2013-10-03_195606_job_descritption_pg1.pdf

Attachment: 2013-10-03_195638_job_description_pg_2.pdf


job description was changed in September. not sure if it was before or after I filed my complaint. the initial job posting for my posisiton was put up in august so I find it weird that the job description was updated in September and not august

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
I have read the attachments, you should consider a discrimination allegation, it may be that due to the letter from the Doctor they changed the job description due to your medical condition.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I am stalled bc the EEOC office is closed due to the shutdown. I have a feeling that is what they did. I am meeting with my doctor tonight, what advice to you give on completion of the medical certification. I am able to complete the essential job duties but I do have chonic episodes of depression w/o warning. During that I am able to work from home. But if I say I am able to complete the essential job duties does that nullify that I am impaired?

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
you should state that you are able to perform all essential duties, and ask your doctor if you have medication will that allow you to perform your job at work also.

In the end have the doctor state a reasonable accommodation would be to allow you to perform some tasks at home as well.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

attached is what I received back from my therapist, I feel it is not adequate and will not hold up with my employer and get me terminated. any suggestions?

Attachment: 2013-10-07_200918_response_on_med_cert_-_phyc.pdf

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
If your therapist will not be more detailed, you can submit it, your only other option is to seek another therapist and see if they will provide you a more detailed letter.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I will contact my primary care provider. Again, I am not able to return to work till they receive the documentation. In your opinion, since she refers only to the my last episode and not further episodes, will I still have an issue in the future?

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
it may be a problem if it does not state currently suffer from any condition.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

It does state I suffer from PTSD.


I sent the following email to my HR manger yesterday and received the following response. As of today they have received my documentation from my therapist and I should be allowed to return to work. I feel they are illegally keeping me from work now. Are they? I will not get paid this week and I am very upset. I can't control how long it takes to get the information from the doctors. I have been in contact with a local employment attorney. Is this something I should inform them of now. Please see the emails below


 


Janet

I sent 2 emails this week regarding the status of the medical verification letters you have requested on my disability.

As of now, I have received no response from you. Have you received these emails? 1st stating their is a 10 working day waiting pd to get forms back. The second email stating that I received a form back and I federal expressed it to the office to your attention. I am still awaiting the other document from my primary care doctor.

Please confirm receipt.


 


 


 


Shannon,

Thank you for the update. I did receive the emails. I have not received the medical letters as yet.

As you know you were paid for the weeks of 9/23 and 9/30. We are discontinuing your pay for the week of 10/7.

I will be in touch.

Regards,
Janet

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
I would advise them in writing that you will file an EEOC complaint for disability discrimination as it is against the law to harass an employee who has requested a return to work.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Last question. I have filed an EEOC complaint as of Friday for harassment and discrimination. I have still not received any responses on my requests to return to work. At this point I am starting to interview for jobs, as this is not turning into a financially hard situation.

Expert:  wallstreetfighter replied 9 months ago.
That was a smart move, if they fail to respond to you they will be forced to respond to the EEOC.

Good luck

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