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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was forced to leave my job,as a Flight Attendant, with ...

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I was forced to leave my job,as a Flight Attendant, with American Airlines, because of the medication I was taking for my bi-polar condition.AA medical has been contacted by my own Dr. more than 4 times to discuss with the AA Dr. as to what regime of medication I can take in order to fly. They (AA) have yet to respond, its been two months.... My question is, can they force me to stop flying without pay, and what can I do force the AA Dr. to respond to my Dr. Needless to say, my income is low(practically nil. what are my options....Lin Burton, XXX-XXX-XXXX
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 years ago.

Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is a questionable issue under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to be considered as a disability under the ADA your condition must affect a major life function. In most cases, work, is not really considered by the courts to be a major life function. Furthermore, with the FAA specific rules and requirements, there may be specific medications that may disqualify anyone from flying. In order to get a more definitive answer you can have your doctor consult with a qualified flight surgeon (yes, I know you are not a pilot, but if medications qualify you to fly a plane then you are qualified to be a flight attendant on the plane).

One suggestion, while you are out without pay for now, send them a written request to be out on Family Medical Leave under FMLA. Then you need to get moving to get the medical information completed because FMLA leave is only 12 weeks.

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