Employment Law/ADA



My questions have to do with ADA. I have both epilepsy and long-standing psychiatric problems. I was hired at a prominent university a year and a half ago. Immediately, I could tell something was wrong- the environment was hostile and toxic.

For example, my previous manager shared my personal health information regarding my epilepsy and a recent dr visit with a co-worker. I found out months later when the co-worker told me.

I was hired onto the team at the absolute lowest position there is- and not given pay that meets the mid- yet I have the highest education (MPH from UNC) and 10 years of research experience. I am the only person on my team who is paid hourly. I have asked over and over and over for more responsibilities, for a raise, promotion etc and it all falls on deaf ears. The PI I work with desperately wants me to get a raise and she has talked to my current supervisor many times. My supervisor has given her a list of bizarre and mythical reasons as to why she won't promote me- "I disappear during the day"; "not professional"; "talk about personal life at work" and just today- "cry too much/am too tearful".

The last one is somewhat true. I do cry. I have an illness. But I dont cry all over the place. I typically cry when I'm in her office and she is berating me for one thing or another. I think back and she's made jokes in team meetings about me being emotional and at the time, I laughed. I am not ashamed. As long as no one is intentionally hurting me or demoralizing me, I dont really cry. (Unfortunately, she intentionally does both, a lot).

When I learned today that she was using that as a reason not to promote me- despite my work ethic, my proven success and initiative and the blessing of my PI, I began to worry. My dx is BPD and lability of mood is characteristic. Is she using my problem as a reason to keep me so low?

Advice would be great!

Thank you!

One thing for sure is that she has compromised the HIPAA regulations in giving your medical information out. You can certainly file a hipaa violation claim.

You need proof of any claim you make. You feel you have a hostile work environment and you are being kept from a promotion because of your medical condition you have the right to file with the Department of Labor EEOC department under the ADA.

To file a HIPAA claim go to this Health and Human services website and the Office of Civil Rights will investigate your complaint.


To file a complaint with ADA go to this Department of Justice website and fill the form out and mail, fax or email it back to them. They will investigate.


In the meantime you need to document ...date...time...person...what was said of every incident that happens at work. Keep all lthe documentation...emails...written, verbal on paper, write them down and keep in a file or notebook...off site.

If you have witness's to this write down their names as well even if they do not want to testify in a court they can be forced to testify by subpoena.

Go find an attorney that will give you a free consultation. Give him the facts and see what he says. Some will take a case on contingency. This means they get paid only if you get a settlement and they would get a percentage of the settlement.

Good luck with this it is not okay for you to be harrassed or discriminated against for an illness.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


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).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

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

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

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