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Hi,

I'm wondering if you can help me with an issue I am currently having at work. I am trying to learn more and educate myself before moving forward. I work at a very prestigious university; in clinical trials. However, I have a supervisor (from hell). She has one person with power who has somehow protected her for years despite the most unprofessional behavior. Lately, I have started to wonder if her behavior might also be criminal.

This is just one example of so many- but I would love your input. I have epilepsy and mental illness. I had to go to employee health when I started my job and they know about my conditions. So do most people on my team. Last year, I went through a period where I was excessively sleepy and having trouble staying away- at home, work, driving- everywhere. It was scary. I had an appt with my neurologist coming up and planned to discuss this with him. Before I was able to, my boss came into my office when I had fallen asleep. I don't think this happened often bc I fought the urge so hard. She saw me, called me in for a meeting and I told her I was aware something was wrong and was planning to discuss with my neurologist. After my appt, she called me back in to follow-up. I told her that my neurologist that my anti-seizure medicine might be too sedating and recommended that I take it at night from then on. I later found out that this boss discussed my health condition and what took place at my appt with another co-worker.

This supervisor is *always* doing things that are unfair and mean. Under ADA (or HIPAA?) was my employer not required to keep this information confidential? What are my rights?

Also, I have had to miss work on a regular basis in order to go to my (necessary) therapy for my mental illness. A co-worker mentioned FMLA but I am not eligible until I have been at my job a year (next month)- is this something I can request as a reasonable accommodation under ADA?

Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate it so much!
Melissa

Answer
Your employer is obligated under the laws to keep medical information private. You can request an ADA accomodation to go to your therapist. After the month you can use FMLA time, but the accomodation would be better because it is not restricted to the 12 weeks like the FMLA is .

Contact your local EEOC division of your department of labor and they will help you out. With a doctor's note you should have no trouble getting an ADA accomodation for your therapy.

Sorry you have such an insensitive supervisor, I would simply have my supervisor authorize the time off for you.

If you have an HR department I would suggest you talk to HR about this supervisor.

Shirley

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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