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Managers telling me to adjust medications.

Discussion in 'Medical Leave & Disability' started by Vindicated, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I work for a large fortune 100 company. Since I started there I have seen some of the most unethical and discriminatory behavior in my life. To start, I am a 29 year old veteran, in 2010 my best friend was killed in a car accident, she meant everything to me and it really traumatized me. Since then I have struggled with anxiety, depression and other medical issues. I take medication prescribed by a doctor. I successfully got my life together in 2015 and haven't looked back, in every job I have had I have been promoted, recognized and exceeded goals/expectations. Once I got hired at the company I am at now, something was off. I could tell from the first day I wasn't liked, later a co worker told me it was because I got hired on at a higher salary than my co workers who had been there longer (this was found to be untrue, I started at the same rate they did when they started). Over the past 8 months I have had multiple incidents I feel cross the line. But for now I want to get advice on this incident alone.
    On September 29, 2017 I was told by a co worker (who has bullied and harassed me since I started, and was demoted from manager due to bullying past co workers) that the assistant manager wanted to see me in the Head Managers office, who was on leave at the time. Upon entering I noticed that both the Assistant Manager and another lower manager were seated and awaiting me. I was asked to sit down. The AM told me that they wanted to “talk to you about your health, as we are concerned.” I was informed that the co worker who doesn't like me had noticed me “nodding off” at a workshop I attended on Wednesday September 20th 2017. A few other employees at the workshop were having trouble staying awake as the temperature in the room was already warm and we sat for 6 hours listening to various speakers present the new program the company was rolling out. I did have an occurrence where my eyes got heavy and I immediately got up and got a red bull from the fridge to help wake me up. Throughout the day we were given shortened breaks and lunch. Our first break was 10 minutes, and the second was 9 minutes. Our lunch was 40 minutes instead of the usual hour, making it hard to get lunch and return in time. After lunch I drank another red bull and felt awake and alert, however the red bull provided by the company caused me to crash after about 45 minutes, leaving me tired again. I did not fall asleep at any point, but I did have a few moments of my eyes feeling heavy and did everything in my power to stay awake. It is my belief that the co worker told the managers that I was sleeping. So back to the meeting with the managers, here are some of the questions asked and comments made by the managers.

    “What medications are you currently taking, and for what”

    “Have you considered taking your medications at different times so that you are more alert during the day.” (This one really concerned me as a Manger should never consider giving out medical advice, opinions, suggestions or anything related to health. They do not have the proper Licenses or extensive training required to legally give that advice, and by following it, an employee could wind up causing great medical harm to themselves, especially with anxiety medicine that can cause seizures upon cessation, and this would be going against my Medical Doctors advice, who in my case has over 30 years practicing medicine as an M.D. as well as over 12 years of college including Medical School, along with another specialist who has a Masters and extensive medical training and experience in treating anxiety, and other various psychological issues. ) The managers told me they were comin to me "as friends" because they didn't want "(Head manager) to have to make a "business" decision to let me go due to falling asleep in front of customers (has never happened). Do I have an ADA case here?
     
  2. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    To add to this, another statement/question was "Maybe you are taking too much of your medication, you should consider taking a lower dose and find out what happens." This was in addition to suggesting taking my medicine at different times. I only take it at night to help with anxiety and sleep since I start to think about my best friend and how much I miss her, causing me to have panic attacks and anxiety causing me to have difficulty sleeping. Also I should note my job isn't involved in any sort of public safety, and I could literally sleep at my desk and no one would get hurt.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No, based solely upon your representations.

    You didn't have to respond with specifics about your health.

    You could have listened attentively, then consulted a local attorney regarding any potential remedies which might exist.
     
  4. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was basically told that if I didn't state I was on medication then the managers "won't be able to stop rumors that you falling asleep was due to drug use, and we don't want to see that happen." I was threatened to be fired if I didn't disclose my medical history. I trust your answer completely, and thank you for it. I just am amazed a low level manager can use a documented disability against me to force me to disclose what it was and then tell me to reduce my medication intake. What a world we live in. Thank you sir.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Mate, you don't even have to talk to the FBI, ATF, DEA, army CID, navy NCIS, Air Force OSI, the police, sheriff, state police, no one. You can listen without talking.

    You weren't forced.
    You allowed yourself to be intimidated.
    No one can force you to snitch on yourself.
    You got played.
     
  6. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hear you man, I realize I made a mistake. I was caught off guard and considering I need my paycheck to live, I didn't feel like losing my job over not disclosing I was taking medication. I don't have a law degree, I didn't know my rights and it was made clear that I was to either tell them my medical history, or suffer the career ending consequences of a rumor starting that I was on drugs. In hindsight, yes I should of kept quiet, and contacted an attorney after. However as you stated, "I got played." Its just absurd to me (Maybe not to you), that a low level manager with a High School diploma has the ability to ask these types of questions without reprucussion. In the same sense I could just pull aside a subordinate and ask him/her if they are gay, and that if they don't tell me, I will spread rumors that they sexually assaulted me. I mean whatever right, they just are getting played.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I volunteer my time each year to speak to high school students about their rights.

    These kids haven't even obtained their high school diplomas, and they all know they should never talk to the police, or even school authorities.

    Most know that their right not to incriminate themselves come from their parents, if they're minors.

    Anyway, how were you harmed by talking to the people who intimidated you?

    Did you lose your job?

    Were you abusing drugs?

    Most organizations allow alcoholics, drug abusers, some even sexual abusers to self report, get treatment, and keep their jobs.
     
  8. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand my rights when it comes to Law Enforcement, I understand the Miranda rights, the right to not self incriminate, the right to have an attorney present, but this is in a court of law or during an arrest or interrogation. We are talking about disability laws, no, I am not an expert in those. And you kid yourself if you think those high school students do as well, let alone half of what you actually spoke to them about. How was I harmed? I was made to feel like I would lose my job over a medical issue I can't control, and that wasn't even factoring into my performance. I was then given two options, tell on myself, or lose my job, and the company I'm at would actually follow through on that threat if your not part of their inner circle. I've been stressed and have had an increase in anxiety, and less sleep over this prospect. I feel judged all day at work and lately have been treated terrible. I'm not some uneducated idiot, I am college graduate, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and a very respectful and polite coworker/person. And no I don't do drugs like I have already stated, and what does self reporting have to do with anything we are discussing, I was forced into reporting, maybe not physically, but mentally over The prospect of losing my job, i'll because one employee who wasn't even involved in the conversation supposedly saw me falling asleep. Maybe for you the prospect of losing your job is not a big deal because you can just find another one with the degree you have that pays well, I am not in that situation unfortunately. I'm not even looking for a pay day here, I just want repercussions for the management for doing that, but I guess it's perfectly acceptable. Can you enlighten me on the legality of me asking a subordinate employee if they are homosexual, and that if they don't tell me I can say "well you know how fast rumors spread, wouldn't want anyone thinking you have aids, so tell me if you are gay or we may have to make a business decision. Is that protected too?
     
  9. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And if that is not crossing the line, then what is legally? I'm being genuine when I ask this question . So my employer asked me to adjust my medication, the medication that I take has a strict regiment for coming off of due to it's high risk having of seizures after you abruptly stop taking it. If I were to follow their advice and to have a seizure that left me with brain damage, would they not be held liable? You mentioned that what I should have done was kept quiet and contact an attorney, so because I spoke for myself that waives my legal rights? They can ask me whatever they want and as long as I answer it's just getting played?
     
  10. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Do you have an HR department? Was there an HR rep at the meeting (doesn't sound like it)?

    I would bring it up to them to see what they say about company policy. To me, this would go beyond what we would want our managers to do/ask/say. They can speak with you about your performance itself, but referencing which meds and when is over our line. That's something HR would interact with you and your medical professionals about if needed for reasonable accommodations.

    So what they did was definitely NOT best business/HR practices!
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The suggestion to follow up with HR, Personnel, or whatever your company calls it is a good start.

    However, here's where it gets dirtier, so be prepared for the little mangers or the bigger managers to LIE.

    As you've seen people don't always play by the rules in the military or in the civilian world, there are liars, thieves, crooks, cheats, and downright bad actors everywhere.

    As any boxing referee always says (yes, I was an amateur "Golden Gloves and AAU Boxer, pretty damned good one, too, LOL), "Protect yourself at ALL times!"
     
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  12. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    It isn't illegal to suggest you manage your health differently if it is affecting your behavior at work. It may not be wise, and it *may* violate company policy, but there is no law against it. It doesn't sound like any adverse action has been taken on account of your disability or otherwise. Having a conversation with you because you were witnessed nodding off or appearing inattentive during a meeting is far from illegal.

    Their level of education, your prior work experience, and or the expertise of your doctor are all irrelevant here. Your employer would be within their rights to fire you for appearing to fall asleep. It would have been *better* had they not provided you the opportunity to "blame" it on a medical condition, and focused only on the behavior that was unacceptable, or asked if there was a reason you wanted to share rather than suggesting a medical reason. Whether that would have meant termination or other adverse action, none of us knows.
     
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  13. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the response, there was no HR rep present. We do have a HR department, I work for a very large corporation, one that is constantly featured in the news for the dishonest things that they get caught doing. That was the part that really threw a red flag up, that they would tell me to adjust my medication, that seems more than excessive. Especially considering I have absolutely zero performance issues, have never had any informal or formal write up, notice, or any type of complaint from a customer. In fact I have received numerous recognition awards for my customers writing in about how well of a job I did for them. This is why everything took me by surprise, because there is one employee there who has had it out for me from day one and they did all this based off of his word from a meeting that nobody else from our store was at.
     
  14. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you Sir, I really do appreciate the information. That was definitely a concern, that there is two of them and one of me, in a closed room. Thankfully I document everything and sent an email to two managers with something like "Thank you for taking the time to make some suggestions going forward that you think may help, such as taking my medication at different times and trying lower dosages." To which they replied in an affirmative matter, so I do have record of that.
     
  15. Vindicated

    Vindicated Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I thank you all for your responses. I got the info I needed. At this point I am just going to let it go, I have a very solid lead on a much better paying job at a company with a solid rep in how it treats employees. I'll just bite my tongue and continue performing my job until I get the next one and get out of this terrible company. Thanks everyone
     
  16. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    They could not force you to stop your medication. That would have been your decision. Let's just say if I were to ever have a conversation with an employee about how their meds were affecting their work, I would expect them to have a consultation with their Doctor to see if something different would work. Employers just don't give medical advice. If they are dumb enough to attempt to do so, employees don't have to follow that advice.
     
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