Sorry for the length of this. I have had MS for 12 years but this is my first time joining a discussion a group.
Nine months ago I experienced optic neuritis in both eyes and it has not yet cleared up to the point where I can safely drive again. At the time, I went on short-term disability for 3 months and then began working again full-time.by telecommuting from home 3 days a week and having a friend drive me in 2 days a week. I am a Payroll Analyst and work with computers, software, employees, and I'm the #2 resrouce in our department. I make sure the department runs smoothly. .
My manager is now stating to me that my job requires me to physcally be there 5 days a week.
I would like to request a medical accommodation to continue telecommuting from home 3 days a week. My manager admits I get all my work done. She says there are "gaps" because I'm not there all the time. She's not able to come out of her office and see me (she can call or IM, however). She says I'm unable to effectively cross-train with other employees (I can screen-share with my co-workers but she says this is not good enough). She says people don't see me and therefore go to someone else with questions. She says I'm unable to go to meetings and that conference-calling in isn't effective "because we can't see each other's faces." I have since discovered a video chat option through IM that would help resolve this. But everything I bring up she flatly says it's not good enough. She is considering re-structuring my job, making me part-time, or, "we'd really hate to lose you" which intimates if I'm unable to come to work 5 days a week I'd lose my job.
I'm honestly losing a lot of sleep over this. I'm 52 and want to work another 10 - 15 years. I have not disclosed my complete diagnosis - I've told my boss I have optic neuritis - and when pressed have told them "they think it's an auto-immune response-thing causing swelling of the optic nerves." I live in a rural area and my work is an hour away. There are no public transportation options from home.
I have had no issues with either my MS or with missing work until now. I LOVE my job and have had glowing reviews every 6 months. I'm afraid if I lose this job, I won't be find another one. I want to find the best chance of success for continuing my current telecommuting option. Do I talk to my manager first to officially request this as a medical accommodation? Or HR? Can my manager force me to become a part-time employee?
They want ME to come up with other options and I'm hesitant to do so as I'm afraid of setting a precedent and walking away from the telecommuting option forever, if it's at all possible.
Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Is moving closer to work an option for you?
I think its a great topic for me.I am working as a part of senior home care Tampa
.Now at this time all the people are busy with their own job.They don't have enough time to protect or care their parents or elder peoples in home.We provide the better solution for this problem.We treat all the senior people with special care and love.
im also faced the same situation when i got a job after my bba logistics courses
in kerala. and i faced this problem by shifting close to my work. is there any scope for you?
I'm sorry to read that you are having issues with your manager regarding working from home. It may be helpful to involve HR as they may be more knowlegdable about the ADA and the process for requesting accommodations. As long as you work for an employer with 15 or more employees or for a state or local government with any number of employees, you have the right to request reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the basics of the law are relatively simple, the steps to initiate these protections can be complex and subtle. It is important to note that although the ADA requires that your employer provide a reasonable accommodation, it doesn't have to be your preferred accommodation so I would encourage you to generate some other options to review with your employer. During your discussions, you can make the case for why working from home would be the best option. I strongly encourage you to review our brochure, The Win-win Approach to Reasonable Accommodations
Additionally, this article on Telework as a Reasonable Accommodation discusses how you may be able to make a request to work from home if it would assist you in performing your job:
Work from Home as a Reasonable Accommodation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also written guidance on telework as an accommodation:
Work at Home as a Reasonable Accommodation
You may want to contact the Job Accommodation Network as well. They are a free and confidential resource funded by the Department of Labor to provide technical assistance related to Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They can also provide examples of accommodations that have been used to address specific impairments, including MS-related impairments. Their number is 1-800-526-7234.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have other questions, you can contact us at 1.800.344.4867 (M-F 7am-5pm MT).
MS Navigator Stephanie