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Health Related Issue At Work

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by NaiveCindy, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. NaiveCindy

    NaiveCindy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have been trying to switch to another line of work for a while now, but so far, no bites on my resumes or applications. Til then I am stuck in a restaurant job. The situation : I was recently diagnosed with stage 1 COPD, a very serious, and chronic lung disease.
    I am more or less okay if I stay away from the chemicals and other employees who smell like cigarettes. However, when ever pans are dropped they have to be run through the oven, which fills the air with a burning and metal smell that makes me very ill, causing me to use my inhaler way too much, and/or leave work for the day. I usually end up having to buy another inhaler out of pocket because my insurance only pays for one every 2 weeks. When I can not afford one i just end up severely rationing what's left in the canister and feeling like death warmed over til my insurance can cover one again.
    The problem : My manager at work, knowing that I have this lung disease, has repeatedly run these empty pans through the oven even though I ask him to please run them through after my shift is over and I have left. Meanwhile, lesser managers couteously, and professionally oblige me. This is especially out of line because there is no policy on when they can be run through. It can be now, later, or even set aside and done the next day.
    I personally think he does it due to mental issues, for he is always bragging about the amount of drugs he uses. That's got to affect your behavior and even cause unwarranted aggression!

    Like I said, I am currently looking for other employment. But in the meantime, is what he doing illegal?
    Because if it is, I need to know what I should do if HR sides with him. I have witnessed them in action, I have been with this company for 10 years. And they ALWAYS side with management.

    Thank you so much for your ears.
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    No, what he is doing is not illegal.

    Have you asked your HR for an accommodation under the ADA?
     
  3. NaiveCindy

    NaiveCindy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello. Thank you for your response. :)

    No, I have not even heard of that. What is it? I'm hoping it can help me.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it's not illegal.

    Regarding accommodations under the ADA, you can read some of these search results.

    Out of curiosity, why would the pans be run through the oven when their dropped, rather than simply washing them or wiping them off?
     
  5. NaiveCindy

    NaiveCindy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello, thanks for the link. I will be checking it out.
    : )

    When they fall lip side down, of course they are washed. But when they fall bottom side down running them through is suffient due to the extreme temperature of the industrial size oven. We use 3 different kinds of pans and I wad referring to the ones we use for the pizzas only. If you wash them too frequently they lose their conditioning and the dough will stick and burn.

    :)
     
  6. NaiveCindy

    NaiveCindy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry about spelling errors, I am responding via phone.
     
  7. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    The Americans with Disabilities Act allows an employee who has a disability a reasonable accommodation to assist them in fulfilling the essential functions of their job. It is up to the employee to request the accommodation and not up to the employer to offer it; the employer is entitled to medical confirmation of the disability and the employee is not entitled to pick their accommodation. What is and is not reasonable varies with the job. But the first step is requesting the accommodation from HR. It might or it might not be reasonable to require him to honor your request - we can't tell from here.
     

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