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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am stressed by the impossible workoverload at work that it

Customer Question

I am stressed by the impossible workoverload at work that it has adversely affected my physical, psychological, and emotional health. I work for the state taking care of patients and unable to get to each one of them on a timely basis due to the workload. My supervisor and peers are also hostile. Can a union representative help me with matters like these?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service.

I have a few questions before I can provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Can you tell me if you believe that your supervisor and peers are hostile toward you due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, or sex)?

Also, can you tell me if you have been diagnosed with any condition or disability as a result of the negative impact that your work has had on your health?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Where does degrading an employee fall under? I was humiliated by my supervisor who scolded me in front of hospital staff and my some of my female peers are in a way bullying me by ignoring me as a group and outcasting or excluding me. I really could care less but when nurses are reporting to me the negative comments these female physicians are saying about me, it only adds to the stress I already have from my excessive workload. I was pressured (bullied) by a peer to take an unstable patient under my care, a patient whom I have never met (therefore no doctor to patient relationship legally) which I did not feel comfortable to take so I asked written directives from our chief. My chief is also unfair in his spread of workload where some doctors are just coasting at work taking care of only 12 patients in one unit and I am given two units in different buildings, including coverage of other units for other doctors who are off or are on leave. It is quite a long walk between my 2 buildings so it is exhausting to be walking back and forth when I get paged from one building to another and I can not get my notes or review my labs or other tests on time. I feel this is not safe for the patients but if I complain,I feel my boss and peers would resent me even more.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jessica,

Just to clarify, you are a union member and a doctor, is that correct?

I only ask because it is rare that doctors are union members.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes. i am a union member


Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jessica,

You can file a grievance through your union representative to address some of the issues that you have at work.

Unfortunately, the humiliation that you describe and what other physicans are saying about you, probably doesn't present you with a cause of action to pursue unless it can be connected to discrimination or harassment due to a protected characteristic.

At the least, your union representative should definitely be able to help you even out your workload compared to other doctors, since it does seem very unfair that you are being given a much more substantial workload than other doctors.

Of course, the downside to bringing up these complaints is that it could potentially harm your relationships even more with your boss and fellow doctors, so you may just want to focus on the work imbalance.

Additionally, if you need time off as a result of psychological or psychiatric illness due to work, you would be able to claim workers' compensation and/or disability and would be entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave through FMLA. (You can receive workers' compensation and/or disability at the same time).

Bottom line, it's definitely a good idea to contact your union representative to discuss the situation and to help you determine whether filing a grievance would be the best course of action to take.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions.

Thanks and best of luck!