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Short term disability restrictions

Discussion in 'Medical Leave & Disability' started by krissy9055, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was out of work for one week and 3 days due to back pain, I found out I have a herniated disc. I am still in pain but my dr said I could return to work as long as I could stand all day. I work in an office where I'm on the phone and computer all day, so I go back into work today and my boss days he is looking for a laptop and a high top table for me to work out. Well I see the IT guy come down with a laptop but he gives it to an intern we have at the office so I ask my boss again if they have anything set up for me and he just says they are working on. 3 hours later I have been sitting/standing bent over at my desk and I still don't have a laptop. My boss pulls me into a meeting with him and HR and they say that they are trying to find a place for me to work but it's hard, I told them Wednesday of last week that the only was I can come back to work is if I can stand. If they cannot provide what my dr requires for me to return to work then does that mean I can still be on leave? They said that what the dr says is not realistic for our office but they still want me to work. I was in tears from sitting down and bending over to work for the 3 hours I was there today.
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    If FMLA applies and you still have time remaining you may go back on leave. When you asked your boss/HR what your leave options were, what did they tell you? Is this a short term need? Is it in writing from the doctor? Could you not stack a box on your desk for the computer as a short term solution? Why must it be a laptop and high top desk they do not currently have?
     
  3. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    Interesting... Standing puts more pressure on your spine. Once you stand your 3/4 of your body weight is pulling down on your spine. What location of your spine are you having issues with? Are you going for surgery to fix this issue soon? Another fix instead of a laptop is a wireless keyboard, mouse. Ask them for a longer monitor cable and raise your monitor. Then you can stand all day long....
     
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    It is not unusual for sitting to aggravate a back issue. There are however, any number of quick and inexpensive or no cost fixes aside from a new desk and laptop. Speaking from experience, Xerox paper boxes work really well for this. So does propping the desk up on pallets or those cheap flat top cone things used to prop up bed frames to create underbed storage. Or put a sheet of plywood/old door across two filing cabinets.
     
  5. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The dr just said I need to be able to stand. When I came back they made no effort to make my work space so I can stand. They could stack boxes so my monitor is higher but they were not willing to do anything to make it where I can stand and work. My problem is in my lower back and sitting puts more pressure on it and the nerves which causes a lot of pain. I shouldn't have to find a way to work standing up, they should provide it for me or let me stay on leave. It seems like they are unwilling to find a solution where I am able to work but they are mad that I won't stay and work while having to sit down. They told me I could take breaks and walk around but realistically I have to be at a desk to work. If they aren't willing to work with me on this then why should I continue to come in? They have extra laptops, as I said before they brought one to an intern who could have used my desktop and I could have had the laptop but they chose not to. I do have the doctors note stating that I can return but I need to be able to work standing up
     
  6. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Also I have not worked there long enough for FMLA but I am on short term disability. My boss is the one who said he was looking for a laptop and high top desk, all I said was that I needed to be able to stand up. I never said I needed anything specific other than to be standing. If they put boxes under my monitor, mouse, keyboard and phone where I could stand then I'd do that but that was not an option I was given. Also our desks are part of cubicles so there is no way to move one desk and they are abnormally short, my back problems started getting worse after I started working there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  7. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    Do you ask them if you could raise your monitor? Wireless keyboard? Wireless mouse? I don't see how a laptop is going to help unless they raise your desk. If they raise your desk then your computer will be ok. You can take some action yourself to get this worked out. Go ask your boss... Hey... Need to get my monitor raised... can i get some boxes to place under it? I have a spinal cord injury... so I know what standing, sitting, walking, bending... can do. Just never seen where standing would help a lower back issue. Since as i stated it puts the weight of your whole body on your spine. but... if that is what helps you then just ask them to help you get your work area ready. Take charge of your life and don't wait for them to set it up.
     
  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    So did they say you couldn't put boxes under the equipment?
     
  9. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    While you seem to believe they should jump to help you without you having to ask for a quick fix, that is not the case. If you are not under FMLA, any time off is not protected so while you can go back out, they do not have to extend you the leave to do so. STD is just income replacement, not a leave entitlement. ASK for boxes to prop up the monitor or bring some in yourself. They have no way of knowing how bad it is for you unless you tell them. Not being able to sit and work at all, even with breaks, is quite different from it being better for you long term to have a different work set up. They do appear to be trying to work with you by making other suggestions.
     
  10. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Did you give them suggestions/options that you believe will help you?
     
  11. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I told them as long as I am standing I don't care where I am. They were going to set me up on top of a filing cabinet with a laptop but they have told me again that it is not reasonable for me to work standing up all day and I would be in the way. I have multiple monitors and I'm on the phone all day and they don't want to move anything or set anything new up for me. I've been out of work since I posted this and they have said that when my doctor releases me without the restrictions of having to stand all day then I can come back.
     
  12. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    When I went in to the dr the first thing he said when I said the pain is bad when I sit was that sitting puts more pressure on the herniated disc and that is why the pain is worse when sitting and also that it can pinch the nerve when sitting.
     
  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Wherever you usually sit, take a box there, put your monitor on top of it, and stand up at your regular desk.

    Problem solved.

    You're making this much more difficult than it needs to be.
     
  14. krissy9055

    krissy9055 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    How am I making it more difficult when they do not want me working standing up, am I supposed to stay there and move everything how I think it should be even when they don't want me changing anything? They told me to stay out until I am off the restrictions.
     
  15. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Then you stay out until you are off the restrictions.
     
  16. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Granting leave can be a reasonable accommodation. If they are telling you that you may remain on leave until more fully recovered, then I am not sure what the issue is. If they say you may remain on leave, that seems it would answer your question. Is this not actually a short term issue but a long term one?
     

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