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  • powerofhope
    I have a question that I am hopeing someone here might know the answer too. Of course a Lawyer would be the expert opinion but maybe some have already dealt with this or know of a source that provides this information. 

    Lets say that you are in the process of diagnosing your symptoms but you can't do your job as before. Can you request accomadations before the diagnoses or go on short term disability without losing your job?
  • MS_Navigators
    Hi there.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not include a list of diagnoses.  Instead, it talks about having a level of impairment that affects your ability to perform activities of daily living.  This is some information I like, written by the Job Accommodation Network, that might help to explain this:

     

    How do I know if I have rights under Title I of the ADA?

    Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether you have rights under Title I of the ADA, but understanding some of the terms used in the ADA may help you make that determination. In general, Title I protects "qualified" "employees" with "disabilities."

    The term "qualified" means that you satisfy the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position sought or held, and can perform the essential job functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.

    For additional information about the definition of "qualified," see http://askjan.org/links/ADAtam1.html#II.

    The term "employee" means, "an individual employed by an employer." The question of whether an employer-employee relationship exists depends on whether the employer controls the means and manner of the worker's work performance.

    For additional information about the definition of "employee," see http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/threshold.html#2-III-A-1.

    The term "disability" is defined in general terms rather than with a list of medical conditions. The definition of disability includes: (1) a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) a person with a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and (3) a person who is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

    Therefore, to determine whether you have a disability, you must first determine two things:

    1. Whether you have an impairment, and

    2. Whether your impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities.

    In addition, you can meet the ADA's definition of disability by having a record of or being regarded as having an impairment.

    For additional information about the definition of disability, visit How to Determine Whether a Person has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at http://askjan.org/corner/vol02iss04.htm.




    In terms of disclosure, the ADA states that you need to provide your employer with enough information to show that you are a person with a disability under the ADA’s definition in order for your employer to understand that they need to provide you with reasonable accommodation.  Disclosure is a complicated subject; however, it is usually recommended that you begin with the lowest level of information that explains you meet the ADA’s definition of disability and require accommodation.  In general, it is much easier to expand that information if your employer needs clarification than it is to retract information if you have provided more than is helpful.  
     
    Short term and long term disability policies vary a lot, so the answer to that question depends on your policy. I suggest obtaining a copy of the policy and reviewing it so you understand who is eligible to use it and how it works. They can be tricky, so please reach out to the Society if you need referrals to attorneys who specialize in this area and who can help you interpret the policy. Our phone number is 1.800.344.4867

    It's also a good idea to see if you're eligible to use leave under the FMLA, as FMLA provides protection for your job: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/employeeguide.pdf

    Other helpful resources: Hope this helps!
    MS Navigator Carla