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Fired for being hospitalized (attendance) Indiana

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  • Fired for being hospitalized (attendance) Indiana

    Hey everyone,

    I came here to see what I can do about losing my job today. There's no doubt in my mind that there's nothing I can do. But figured I'd ask anyway. This is going to be a long one. Here's what happened..

    I started my job on November 14th, so I haven't been there long. I recently moved from around Indy to southern Indiana (back home.. 3 hours away) to find a job and a place to live. Until then, my family is staying with my wife's parents and I'm staying with my brother. I finally found a job. Not bad money. $15.50 an hour.

    A couple weeks ago I started having bad anxiety attacks again. Being away from my kids has been hard. Especially my 2 year old daughter who is half blind and a daddy's girl, and my 3 month old son with Down syndrome. My kids and I need each other and it kills me (been away from them for 8 months so far). My brother has also been overdosing on his meds and all kinds of other stuff has happened.

    The anxiety attack was so bad that I thought I was having a heart attack. It slowly went away. But by that time I was wore out from tensing up. I called in maybe an hour before my shift. Everything was fine and all I got was a write up. Two days ago, I had another anxiety attack. The whole left side of my body went numb and I kept passing out. My brother rushed me to the ER and called in for me. They did an EKG, CT scan, MRI, Echo.. all kinds of tests. They kept me overnight and diagnosed me with anxiety the next morning. While I was there, they gave me Norco for pain. My muscles tightened up so much that it feels like they tore. It still feels like it today. The doctor also wrote me a prescription for Prozac. I'm not talking just a couple week supply. He went as far as writing me a 3 month supply. I got released around 3pm. But before they released me, they gave me another Norco for pain and instructed me to take the Prozac when I got it filled if I was going into work that evening. I get the script filled, took one and head to work around 5 on about 2 hours total of sleep. Can't sleep much while they're *****ing you every couple hours and barging in to change the electrodes on your HAIRY chest.

    Being on pain meds and Prozac at the same time really messed with my stomach. It was so bad that I was dry heaving on the way to work. I called in cause I felt so bad. But showed up anyway in fear of losing my job. I told my supervisor what meds I was on and that I may need to run to the bathroom often, but if I couldn't find any relief, that I would go back home. He said it was fine. I also handed him a doctor's note along with documentation of my meds. After working 3 hours in pain, I told my supervisor I was having a bad reaction to the new meds and that I felt dizzy and nauseous. So I left.

    When I got to work tonight they fired me. They made sure to tell me it was because of attendance and being within the 90 day probation period. Is there any way to get my job back or at least be sure to get unemployment until I can find another job? Is there anything at least covered on the ADA in my situation? I'm not looking for a handout or a free ride. I just want my job back so I can get my family a home.

    Also, the pain meds I was on clearly say on the bottle (my mom takes them) that you should not run heavy machinery or drive. After notifying them of what I was on, was it illegal for them to demand that I work my normal job with no accommodation?

  • #2
    Since you have only been with the company for a month, you have no protected medical leave available; nor does the ADA guarantee protected time off. In addition, the ADA only requires an accommodation that will allow you to perform the duties you were hired to do. It does not require that your employer modify your job duties or grant you time off.

    So no, there is no law you can enforce that will force them to give you your job back, and no, it was not illegal for them to require you to work your regular job or your regular job schedule. As for unemployment, that's a bit of a toss-up but it's not within your employer's control. The state, and only the state, decides if you are eligible for unemployment. While the employer has the right to contest, they do not get to make the final decision. Normally I'd say you wouldn't have any trouble, but the problem is that you have to be able to work, actively looking for work and available to accept work if offered in order to collect. If you are too sick to work, that may be a problem when it comes to unemployment benefits. It might mean only a delay until your illness is under control and you are able to work full time again, but I can't offer you a guarantee that you'll be considered eligible immediately.
    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.


    • #3
      I figured but wanted to make sure.

      As far as being able to work, I'm able. I just wasn't able to in the condition I was in the last couple of days while being loaded on narcotics and anti-anxiety medication. I'm willing to work and have no problem working. But things happen and life happens. It just so happens that it happened a month in after getting hired.


      • #4
        It also depends how long you were out of work before this job came along. ADA and FMLA won't help you, but unemployment might.
        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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