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How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

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Spalding
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    Toogoofy317
    Member of 1000 Post Club!

  • Toogoofy317
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Do you work for a large corporation. If it is anything like Disney then your management has no right what-so-ever. The only people that need to know about your condition is occupational health. At that point you give them your paper work from the doctor and then they are supposed to give you a paper that says you are able to work and if you missed time you were out due to a medically approved reason.

    Now with that being said I have had a lot of complications and I do tell people about my condition. It paid off back in May. I was walking out to my car after my shift I was feeling fine and I felt funny for just a second and collapsed. I was very fortunate another security officer was behind me and knew about my problem. She was able to get me help, realize I didn't need an AED attached because of my AICD, and it even got around that my nitro patch was always in my right pocket so she was able to assist me with it. My management this time around at Disney has been the exact opposite.

    The last area held it against me I wasn't allowed to be on opening crews, couldn't be a trainer, or a coordinator. Which I was all capable of but since I missed work through FMLA which is not supposed to count against you they said I was unreliable.

    My worst experience was when I worked in the hospital and I had told a couple of the nurses about my condition my manager told me not to tell anyone because it created undue stress in the work environment. I asked her that if I went into cardiac arrest and no one new why if that would cause undue stress as well she didn't like that. But, as soon as the new company bought the hospital out she found a loop-hole. She had me train all the new and old secretaries who didn't know the new system and right after we went live she told me they had gotten rid of my unit secretary position and they did not have a place for me. Two weeks later my position was back on the books. So, I tried going back to my old company and they found a bad loop hole. They said that I had forgotten to tell them about a work related incident that had happened six years ago! I went to Disney and researched turns out it was not a Workman's Comp issue. When I went to straighten out the situation they refused to speak with me and I tried for two months to find someone but it was no use.

    So, I guess the moral of the story is you know your workplace better than anyone else and it is up to your discreation how much they tell you. But, if they do not like your doctor's recommendation they can evaluate if you are fit for duty. But THEY have to PAY for it NOT YOU! Even if you do have restrictions they still are obligated to keep you on as long as you can work with reasonable accomodations. In some instances reasonable accomodations have resulted in people who have concentration problems to get a sound proof office built just for them to do their work. so don't let them pull the this is not reasonable krap!

    Hope it helps.

    Mary S.

    Leave a comment:


  • Spalding
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Thanks for the responses and for seeing the complexity in this issue, everyone. LindaG, your story is the most heartbreaking and a good example of what I mean by complications. delfam, I'm also very worried about something like your case, where "someone" decides that maybe I should find another line of work, and accounting is certainly pretty non-physical! That simply isn't possible since I am in a very specialized field and could never match the salary starting over in another field.

    The good news is so far they are approaching it generically, but I realize this is only a temporary respite.

    Leave a comment:

  • delfam
    Major Contributor

  • delfam
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    I was an accountant for 25 years and the last 10 years worked at a CPA firm. I was told with the stress that I should find something else. This past February I was out for another medical problem and basically gone and started my new career of RE appraisal. I feel less stressed and relaxed. The firm told me that after my ICD in September 2004 and health they worried about me. So be careful what you sign and talk it over with a lawyer.

    Leave a comment:

  • LindaG
    Ventricle

  • LindaG
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    My son was a bank manager. One would think that should be a safe and sane job. However, the bank he worked for was all about "team work and team spirit" and from time to time held field days that while not mandatory, were looked upon as essential to the building of spirit. Since he was the branch manager, he did as much as he could do--he wanted to move upward in his career.
    Well, he never told his employees or immediate supervisors that he had a problem. He had no restrictions from the dr. except if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. To make a long story short, he died in May playing softball with the bank.
    Fortunately, when he was doing his paperwork when he got the job, they asked about prior health conditions. He called me and asked me what to do, and I told him to tell the truth. Thank God he did, if he hadn't his poor wife would have been left with no life insurance and heaven knows what other problems with health insurance etc.
    So, be careful. You don't want to make a serious error here.
    Good luck to you.
    Linda G

    Leave a comment:


  • ItzKat
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    I guess I am really lucky. We are a family at work. I am the newest member on the team, but we have quickly formed a fun, friendly yet hard working team.

    I was actually out for a surgery that had nothing to do with my heart. During that surgery, they ran an EKG due to me being over 40. The EKG showed a problem and that led to further testing. Now, I am facing the ICD implant on July 21.

    Once I got to the point where I could talk about it, I was happy to tell them. I mean, if I passed out or something at work, I wanted them to start CPR immediately. Them knowing about the disease has helped me talk through my fears and be sure that they will know what to do if there is a problem. I even got two of my team members to sign up for CPR classes since they were the only ones not to know how to do it.

    But I realize this is not hte sam for everyone and you must take your situation into account. I think there are good laws in place to protect you, but who needs the stress of lawsuites.
    Last edited by ItzKat; 07-15-2006, 04:24 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • morgan
    Junior Contributor

  • morgan
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Are you in a Union?

    Get your Steward to help you.

    It seems if the Dr says it is okay and the ICD manufacturer says it is okay, they are not is a positon to dispute that you are not in danger.

    does the ERT/MERT team in your facitlity have Portable units available?

    Leave a comment:

  • Reenie
    Super Moderator

  • Reenie
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    What kind of heavy electrical equipment are we talking about? Do they create a big electrical field around them? Do they contain large magnets? If they're just machines that are run by electricity you're probably all right.

    Reenie

    Leave a comment:


  • Spalding
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Reenie,

    No, I have never been shocked, I've only had the thing for a month. My job is 98% desk, but in that 2% I could be near all kinds of heavy electrical equipment. So far they are going to look into it generically, but they say that testing is too expensive to do extensively. I had thought Medtronic had said that they would come in and test but apparently that isn't true. My cardiologist today pooh-poohed any risk, so there is a wide gamut of opinions and approaches on this subject.

    morgan, it's a big red flag for me also - I know how things can spiral out of control from the humblest beginning in the corporate world.

    Leave a comment:

  • morgan
    Junior Contributor

  • morgan
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Spalding,

    I am not a Lawyer, nor do I work in H.R. so please take what I am going to say as peer advice only. I would not sign an Release for Medical Records to my Employer without consulting an Attorney first.

    I would ask
    Why do they want this?
    What do they plan to do with the information?
    Is it mandatory for my return to work, meaning can they keep me from returning if I refuse to sign?
    Is there a way to get them the information that they need without me signing this form?
    Does the Americans W/ Disabilities Act protect me if I do not sign?
    Have they required this in the past of other employees, if not, why me, why now?
    Where in the company handbook/bylaws is this issued covered. What is policy?

    I have to say. When I saw this post, I saw RED!!!!! I do not think they have this right, please investigate and speak to others before you do this.

    Leave a comment:

  • Reenie
    Super Moderator

  • Reenie
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    I see. Please refresh me, what does the job entail? What is it? Will the ICD affect your performance? Have you ever been shocked?

    Reenie

    Leave a comment:


  • Spalding
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    To determine what restrictions there are for my specific job. It's not a release of the complete history, just that I have an ICD, which to me is the worst part anyway, since it makes the rest easily deducible - they will know I have a serious heart problem.

    Leave a comment:

  • Reenie
    Super Moderator

  • Reenie
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    What would the information be used for?

    Reenie

    Leave a comment:

  • billyberry
    Junior Contributor

  • billyberry
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    They really have no need for a complete release of your medical information but only a release of your restrictions and or information relevant to your work environment. Talk with an ADA person some areas have them available through their state dept. of Labor or Employment and you can be annonymous.

    Billy Berry

    Leave a comment:


  • Spalding
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Well, now they want me to sign a medical information release and I'm REALLY worried.

    Leave a comment:

  • Lisa Salberg
    HCMA CEO and Founder

  • Lisa Salberg
    replied
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    You have all brought up some great points. I am not going to address them all here...but will do a bit more detailed info and write a longer article on the topic and post it on the web. In short your employer can not use any health issues against you....UNLESS it is a safety issue. Bus driver, those with CDL's, nurse, and similar jobs can and do have a public safety concern and based on your health and ability there can be limitations placed on you. However the Americans with Disabilities Act offers a great deal of protection.

    Keep your eyes open for more information.

    Lisa

    Leave a comment:

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