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Possible ADA issue; child w/disability

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  • Possible ADA issue; child w/disability

    Ok, so after some Internet research, I have a situation I need some "guidance" on. I apologize for the lengthy post ahead of time! I started working for a new employer in sales after having to quit previous job and being off for a year & half to care for my child who had been treated for a malignant brain tumor, which they were aware of (I had been in industry in this area for 10 years prior). All was good, until 6 mths later she developed another condition related to her treatment requiring me to be more available for her. I spoke to owners and told them I was having to resign to care for her...they jumped in and immediately offered to accommodate me...working from home for the most part and during school year, being available between 9:30-2:00 & taking off when a Dr. Appt was scheduled (which was approx 20-25 hrs/wk., without a Dr appt). My salary was changed to straight commission. I have to mention that I also have a younger child that has a chromosome abnormality that requires numerous visits to Dr also. These visits between the two of them are with specialists and the appts are typically not scheduled by me...I get a notice as to when to be there and there are not many "rescheduling" opportunities. I was the "golden child" for a while. After about a year, business had grown & things started changing, asking me to report to the office on specific days, changing the "requirements" of the job - had to make a quota in a week with no regard to time off for Dr appts or other functions that took me away from making my quota. They began to harass me more & more about changing my Dr appts to days that worked better for them, yelling at me for not being as organized as they want me to be, talking to me about my "life" and discouraging me from working because "they don't know how or why I even work with all the things going on in my life". It got to the point where during a meeting, they told me that if I didn't care how many hrs I worked that week, if I didn't get the calls done, they were running an ad for someone else that could work full time. So I quit. I would also like to add that I was a star employee up until 2 mths before they started harassing me - no write ups, growing business, no complaints from co-workers or clients...I realize they accommodated me initially and they didn't have to but I feel like they began to question my commitment due to the requirements of my children.

  • #2
    Could you perhaps clarify your legal question?

    Comment


    • #3
      Did you have a specific question? Thanks.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, Dogmatique. Your post wasn't there when I started mine - I just didn't get it off right away.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
          Sorry, Dogmatique. Your post wasn't there when I started mine - I just didn't get it off right away.


          We were just typing at the same time

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          • #6
            Sorry...my question is that even though I quit, is there a claim of harassment under the ADA or even constructive discharge?

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            • #7
              Ultimately, only EEOC can determine whether you were harassed on the basis of association with a disabled family member. You've also indicated that the business grew and changed; the employer can potentially rebut any discrimination claim on the basis that business needs changed.
              I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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              • #8
                There needs to be a clear distinction here as to what the ADA does and does not require. The ADA does not allow you to be discriminated against on the basis of your association with a disabled family member. However, the ADA does NOT require that you be given an accomodation unless YOU YOURSELF are disabled.

                So unless other employees were allowed as many or more days off and working from home and so on and only you were "harassed" about it, I think you'll have a hard time making a claim under the ADA.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                • #9
                  I completely understand that they had no obligation to provide any type of accomodation BUT they did knowing what it involved. Yes, the business grew & changed...because of my ability to grow the business, even while working the "modified" schedule and I understand needs of a company change. However, they agreed to work around my schedule and then made it literally impossible to do what was being asked of me...the entire time telling me that I had too much going on with my kids to give them what they were asking. All the sales meetings close to the end of my employment were driven around my kids Dr. appts, questioning why I work at all with the issues I have with my kids, yada, yada. Just felt like they were driving me out.

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                  • #10
                    They might have been able to work around your schedule for only so long & then it no longer worked out for them.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As cgb stated, there is no law that requires that they offer a reasonable accommodation for your children. Even if it was you who was ill, they do not need to reduce quotas or reschedule meetings to work around your schedule. They never have to put up with disorganization and work that is not being completed. If they need you full time they can insist that you work full time. It doesn't matter that when you started and the business wasn't as large they could get by with you only working 20-25 hours a week and special times during the school year. It doesn't work for them now. Few employers could accommodate such a schedule especially since yours seems very unpredictable.

                      This is one of those no good deed goes unpunished situations. Your employer went well above and beyond what was required and now that they can no longer sustain that level of generous accommodation you want to sue them for not providing something they were never required to provide in the first place.
                      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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