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  • Brandon1
    I've had MS for almost 12 years now.  About 2 years ago I finally told the job I've worked for over 10 years that I have MS.  The only reason I told them is because I needed to start using a cain to get around.  I couldn't keep saying my knees/back were giving me problems if I use a cain every day.  What I do is pretty physical and demanding.  It makes me tired and I need to take frequent breaks.  I'm a very hard worker and get the job done, so I don't get hassled.  I need to set this up.....I'm a team leader of 5 technicians.  My boss is worthless.  He doesn't care about anything but a paycheck.  His boss is spineless and doesn't say anything to him.  So I'm left picking up all the pieces.  There's a job on the other side of the wall that is a desk job that I can with no problem. This job will be open in a few months.  I've already asked if I could cross train for the job and was told no.  I was told because we are too busy.  I believe the reason is because they don't want to lose me back here.  It has happened to other people.  It's wrong, but they do it.  My question is, should I play the "handicap" card?  I know that sounds terrible, but it's the only way I can explain it.
  • maria1
    Brandon, The first and only card you need is the self respect card. Do what ever you must, to feel good about yourself. Put yourself first and choose what is best for you. If you play the handicap card it may backfire. Dilligence and a good work ethic is sometimes rewarded. This is a new age. People are fighting to get menial jobs and things will get worse. Whoever came up with the, "be all that you can be" slogan is right. Strive for your best, don't look at it as a job, just doing your best every day, be as big as you can be, because when you get slowed down you will be respected for all your efforts. And if you do not agree with me, or even if you do, do whatever you think or feel you must do to put food on your table. best wishes,.
  • Kris_Employment_Mgr
    Hi Brandon1,

    First of all - my apologies.  I am still getting used to the new look of the website and I'm finding it hard to locate new posts or comments.  I'm sorry you had to wait so long for a response from me!

    As for your question, the simple answer is that your employer does not have to give you the desk job as an accommodation if it is considered a promotion.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers only have to consider reassignment as a reasonable accommodation for positions that are vacant and equal to or less than your current position in terms of status, pay, etc.  If it is an equal or lesser position, your employer may have to consider you for the position as a reasonable accommodation if you request it as such.

    The more complicated answer is it depends.  Reassignment as a reasonable accommodation is considered the accommodation of last resort, meaning you and your employer should first consider whether there are accommodations that can assist you in keeping your current position.  It sounds like you are already doing some self-accommodation, and perhaps it is time to look at whether there are some more formal accommodations that could help you in your current position.

    However, that only addresses the "disability" piece of the situation, so to speak.  You can still apply for the position without requesting it as an accommodation.  I can understand your fears that your employer may not be willing to consider you for the position because you are needed in the position you already have.  Regardless of whether you apply for the position competitively or request it as an accommodation or do both (some employers still require one to compete for open positions even when they are being requested as an accommodation), you should be prepared to discuss why you will be of value to the company in the new position to show your employer why this would be of benefit for them as well as you.

    Here is some information on accommodations in case that is a new topic for you:
    The Win-Win Approach to Reasonable Accommodations

    Employees' Practical Guide to Negotiating and Requesting Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

    The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual with a Disability

    Finally, if you would like to see whether there are possible accommodations for your current position, I encourage you to give the Job Accommodation Network a call to see what types of accommodations have worked for others with similar positions.

    Best wishes to you!

    Kris Graham
    Employment Manager