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Librarian

Reasonable accommodation help?

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Howdy folks, DH Is a painter (walls, not canvasses) and the doctor has said he can't get on ladders anymore. Um, what? Eek! But we work at a university and they have a nice ADA office and we need to register his "disability" and ask for reasonable accommodation.

 

Background: But, his boss is a racist, sexist homophobic a$$hole. DH doesn't play that and never has. Doesn't make him popular. Then, boss has at least four times given incorrect info to shop. And he lied about a safety violation. In each of these instances DH went around boss, had higher ups reprimand boss and even write him up for safety violation. Again, makes him pretty much hated.

 

Cut to the chase: boss gets to decide whether requested accommodation puts undue burden on shop. We don't think so. So DH can't get on ladder. He can still paint walls, doors, railings and he can use a darn roller on an extension.

1. And if boss says no, screw you, we can probably win if we get a lawyer. Lawyers cost money. Going on disability until we win means serious loss of income.

2. Yep, we can ask for them to find him another job on campus that doesn't require ladders. But there are no such openings right now. Hopefully there will be but not right now.

3. Have contacted several Disability lawyers who have said they only deal with social security issues or Discrimaination cases ( can't prove boss has retaliated).

4. Have looked at JAN network but no wording that fits us. Have looked at PF and MJ Fox site and no wording that fits us.

 

DH probably has years and years (god willing) to work. He just has tremor and a bit of a balance issue.

 

So... I would LOVE to see wording your dear ones have used to ask for reasonable accommodation with PD. Anyone?

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Hi Librarian!  Welcome.

 

First, this is a pain, isn't it.  Why can't people just act right?  All right, brass tacks and strategy: you need to make this the University's problem, not the idiot supervisor's purview.  We were in a similar situation, and you will need an employment lawyer, not a disability lawyer.  Sigh.  But probably not yet.

 

If your DH is having some problems with ladders, PD is affecting him.  Okay, you need to make that obvious.  How?  Well, the most effective way, also helps him.  I am assuming he has a MDS?  Yes?  Ask the MDS for a referral to the LVST Big and Loud training.  This is an intensive PT course that entails a Physical Therapist and a Speech therapist for one hour each, 4 days a week, for several weeks.  There are good reasons for this.  PD makes people slow down and restrict their movements.  Has your DH's voice gotten softer?  His expression gotten more 'masked' over time?  Look at old photos for a big smile in the past.  Is the smile still that big?  Big and Loud is expensive, but it is one of the few long term programs that health insurance pays for because it significantly delays falls and other bad physical outcomes.  The LVST therapists will assess him, and see if he would benefit.  If they think he would benefit, insurance will pay.  At which point, call your MDS and ask him for a letter telling HR that your DH needs the program and place him on FMLA with STD for those 4 weeks.  I know, that means less money for those 4 weeks, but DH should get a big benefit from the training.

 

So, what does this do?  It alerts HR that he has a medical condition that he is taking seriously, and doing everything he can to make accommodations in his life to continue working to his best ability.  It documents the condition.  It also demonstrates that the condition is serious enough for STD, and when he comes back, reasonable accommodations are cheaper than the possibility of LTD to HR.

 

I am sorry you are going through this kind of worry.  It is wearing and scary.  My DH went through Big and Loud, and it really helped his abilities for a while.  The biggest help was to me as the company stopped actively trying to get rid of my DH.  Small comfort, but there you have it.

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Thanks Quietstill for your great advice in the above post.  Parkinson's is such a huge burden on families who are just trying to do their work and be good citizens.  A bad boss is a nightmare and adds so much stress to a condition that gets worse with the added stress.  It is also so scary to try and navigate labor situations in which you find yourself overwhelmed with the fiscal realities of needing to support your family.  You gave the Librarian truly useful strategies and great potential outcomes for situations that are beyond his control.  I would add to the Librarian to be sure and document everything-that's said, done, written, etc. because this documentation will become invaluable when needed down the road. His boss has a boss-probably quite a few of them.  Hopefully there is someone with a conscience that can pull the Librarian aside and let him know that there are other options open to him.  Also there is also something called a "hostile work environment" that can be documented.  ADA has federal legal rights but sometimes I think companies just figure they're the cost of doing business.  When my husband came to the end of his career-couldn't meet the quotas put on him-and was close to getting fired, he went to HR who gave him the papers to give his neurologist and his neurologist signed his disability paper.  My husband was two weeks away from being fired-even with the Parkinson's so clearly impacting his ability to do his job.  Once your physician signs the disability paperwork-and this is where having your paperwork really helps that clearly documents how your Parkinson's impacts every single task you do-you are on disability.  It's done and over.

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So much to worry about.  Once you are on disability you are not home free.  You still have a disease that only progresses.  You will need a team of helpers just to get through the day to day tasks of living.  The fear of what's to come is the scariest part.  If you surround yourself with positive loving people who want to be there for  you thick and thin then it won't be as bad as it seems.   I have friends who stick together with their siblings to take care of their parents and it is so nice to see this kind of support.  Nothing seems impossible when you are not dealing with this alone. What I wouldn't give to have this kind of security.   Good luck.

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