"Medical Problems in Office"

We are manufacturing company, but this person works in an area where there is not moving equipment (Quality). Anyway, this employee once in each of the last two months sort of "gone into a trance" which we kind of know is due to her diabietes. We (company employees) do not try to "medicate her in any way". They call her husband who lives near by and he comes and "straightens her out". She has had diabites for years and years, and had an episode about 3 years ago that required calling paramedics. However, up until lately hasn't really been a problem.
Her "performace" which has been ok hasn't really changed. There could be some attendance issues, but they haven't kept good enough records to address this.
My question is what should we do, if anything, about her medical condition? I feel this is more of a "concerned for you" type of discussion, rather than a "demand letter from Dr." Since her medical condition is not "directly affecting" her work, but does make supv. and others concerned, should we ask her to bring in a note from her doctor saying it is ok to be there? (She has made comments about new medication that doesn't seem to be working... not sure what kind and also has a second job at WalMart which could be contributing to this due to her may being tired???)
Suggestions are welcome.

E Wart


  • 1 Comment sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I agree that you are probably in a borderline situation, but I think I also agree with your hunch that the borderline situation may be moving closer or over the borderline. I would consider the following if it were my company:

    1. You have reasonable information (because the worker has shared with you, and her vocalization is not hearsay).

    2. Address the FMLA in the manner that is proper in your company. If you haven't started counting anything on an intermittent basis, it may be time to start--you have evidence (from the worker) of a chronic illness, a medical reason to be absent, and an opportunity for medical information.

    3. Consider adding an incident report step for medical events in the workplace (similar to accident reporting). They will not become part of your safety/workers' comp process in and of themselves, but if she has an episode and falls, hits her head, hits another worker, or otherwise has an injury, the 'episode' will be w/c. The fact that an incident report is collected will offer a formal mechanism for referring the worker for objective medical evaluation, and may very well get an automatic step for sending the worker home until cleared by her physician to RTW.

    Step 3 is what we do and it's working well. I will tell you, however, that supervisors in various departments are resistent to the reporting step because of their incorrect assumption that an incident report generates a w/c claim, but we get through it by educating the supervisor that incident reporting is incident reporting and w/c is w/c. The two are related, but the incident reporting step gives us an opportunity to know what is going on in our workplaces.

    Best wishes.
Sign In or Register to comment.