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    Employer wants me to sign a paper

    I wrote a letter to HR about my rights under ADA and MS and gastrointestinal issue. I asked to work at home a majority of the time since they allowed it thru Covid. They denied me MONTHS working from home during Covid, until a outbreak happened that included my boss. So they sent us home to work and I continued to do so. Well recently he has an issue with that and also even wrote me up for abscenses when I had FMLA, he knows how to spin things.

    Well now that they got my letter, they drafted up a Memo of Understanding about when I have to work, hours, days and also that I have to write down everything I work on at home as well have weekly meetings on that and also what jobs I did or didn't do. I read that this is a legal binding document. MS doesn't schedule its attacks.

    I'm so stressed now, seriously I just want to leave my job and go on disability, I was struggling before but now I am so overwhelmed and it's taking a toll on my health. Is it better to quit? better to be fired? I have no disability benefits thru my job. This memo has be so freaked out and what I read it is a legal binding, so no way am I signing it. I know working I cannot apply for SSDI, but I'm seriously going to have a nervousb breakdown over this. Any advice is appreciated.

    #2
    Truly sorry to hear. This is just my own personal thoughts and not any legal advice.

    Does your company have an official accomodations process? Have you followed it? Mine did, so I documented it, clearly stating EEOC accomodations request due to medical condition, with my neuro writing a letter in support. Originally it was 1-2 days a week, later expanded to 3, then finally 5 days as needed. It was flexible, based on how I felt.

    That being said, companies don't have to honor EEOC accomodation requests if it is detrimental to their business operations. Also, smaller employers are not required to offer accommodations. Even with an accomodation, you still have to be able to perform your job duties.

    Just my guess, but since you documented an ADA issue, HR felt they had no choice but to intervene and document. Are there other folks that work at home still and were they required to do the same? Can you email HR and ask if this "Memo of Understanding" is company standard for anyone working remotely? If they are applying the same standard to all, it could be they are trying to make sure you and your boss are on the same page. If it is not a company standard, I would want to know why I was singled out.

    If you are trying to stay in the work force, it may be worth a visit to an attorney who specializes in ERISA law(employment law). If you do stay and feel they are targeting you, keep a detailed journal of any related conversations with HR and boss, documenting them (date/time, parties involved, issues and resolutions).

    As to whether it is time to leave the workforce or not, it really is a personal decision. Towards the end of my workdays, I was working full-time from home, with added ability to take longer lunch break and work later. Even with that, I could still not bounce back each day. By Wednesdays I was really struggling, symptoms escalating due to fatigue and stress, and then would need to miss a day to rest. I had to admit to myself, trying to get thru a 40+ hour workweek was detrimental to me, my performance was not what it was, and I was impacting coworkers and project deadlines.

    I would like to tell you that the stress and anxiety go totally away when you stop working. The anxiety of having to make a decision was eliminated, as well as the general work stress, which both were huge for me. But it was replaced by waiting for a decision, being denied, then having to appeal - watching the financial hit to savings during this process. I fortunately had health insurance thru my husband, so I did not have that stress as well. By the time SSDI (and LTD) resolved successful, I was already passed my Medicare eligibility date. So depending on your personal situation, you may have added stress. You need to figure out how long you can live with no income and healthcare options.

    Years out now, life is less stressful and it truly has afforded me the time to exercise and focus on things beneficial to health. I no longer have to decline invitations because I needed to rest the weekend away. Work was always a big part of my identity and I enjoyed the social I teractions, so it was a struggle to get used to that.

    All in all, it has been a physical, mental, and financial adjustment, but the tradeoffs were worth it.

    I hope you are able to make the best decision you can for yourself. Hopefully more folks will share their experiences.
    Kathy
    DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

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      #3
      HR works for the company, my boss has zoomed in on me, made petty unfounded complaints. And no one else has to fill that paper out. It is a legally binding document. I decided I will not sign it. I have been there 40 years started as a teenager and have never been so disappointed. The original owner cared, after he passed its changed. Sad

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        #4
        Truly sorry Gracie. While HR may stand for human resources, it has also been my experience they are representatives of the company. Their primary responsibility is to protect the company, not the humans who work there.

        I hope you can figure out a way to reduce your anxiety and stress level, whether working or not. Please keep us updated.
        Kathy
        DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri

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