Bias treatment?

  I am unsure if some actions/restrictions that my boss has taken against me may be a violation of the ada psychiatric rules.  I have major depression, for which I have been diagnosed and am under treatment for (medications).  Because of this sickness, I have difficulties interacting with co-workers. Most of my co-workers are unaware of my illness and simply consider me 'a jerk'.  I also believe that my manager feels the same way.  On my performance reviews I get high marks for my ability to do my job and low marks for my relationship with co-workers.  He has told me that there have been a large number (compared to other employees) of complaints about my behavior, however, he has never made these compants know to me until my review interview and has given me no opprtunity to dispute or explain them. 

   I work in a manufacturing enviroment which is based around a large number of machines.  He has set up the personel  work schedules and rules conserning overtime so only I and one other employee, of which my manager has made public his dislike of, have zero opportunity to get overtime.  The machines I work on have basicly 24/7 coverage, but there are other machines in the building that are not covered 24/7 and have plenty of work availible( I would need traning to run these other machines).  He has said that if I get extra training and get the promotion it would lead to, overtime may be availible.  But because he will not allow anyone to get overtime for training I would have to do this training during my regular shift.  This would be very difficult as the machines I work on require a lot of monitoring.  Both of these rules (no overtime for training and a requirment of the title from the promotion to get overtime) are not in the employee handbook and have only been used sence this new manager started.  The promotion requirment was added after the second time in a few weeks that  I asked for overtime  The past manager encouraged employees to train all the wanted and would allow overtime, to an extent, to get this training.

  My HR manager is currently unaware of my sickness and I am not looking to sue my company or looking for them to change past performance reviews, I just would like to know that if I go to my HR manager with this situation, can I make a case for discrimination under the ada and and get the HR manager to make my manager make overtime availible to me.

  Thanks to any who can help me with this.


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  • ADA requires an interactive process between the employee and the employer. The goal is to help disabled employees get and keep work. But the employee does have to be able to fulfill the essential functions of the job "with accommodation".

    It sounds like you have not made your supervisor OR HR aware of your possible need for accommodation.  The boss/employer can get into legal trouble for presuming that you have a disability.   And depression is one of those situations that is a grayer area under ADA.  You need to also consider what a reasonable accommodation would be for your condition and how that would help your job performance.  Having a disability is not a free pass to bad job performance.  Allowing overtime/training may not be a reasonable accommodation because it could cause "undue hardship" especially with the current economy.   I know a lot of employers who are cutting both training budgets and overtime right now, especially in the manufacturing businesses.

    Does the other employee that has zero opportunity for overtime also have a disability?  If not, then you are being treated the same as someone without a disability and being held to the same policy, even if that is a bad policy.  And employers/managers can make/change policies unless you are under some type of contract.  And unfortunately it is not illegal for your boss to make bad policies or to be a jerk.  It is possible that this manager has been told to cutback on training/overtime and is doing so in their own new way as compared to your old boss.

    The EEOC will look when a complaint is filed to see if the complaintant (you) have gone through all the channels possible at your employer.  From your message, it doesn't sound like you have done so.  I would suggest doing that first. Start the interactive process, but realize the employer is not required to agree to your perspective of reasonable accommodations....but they do have to interact with you about it.



  • [quote user="TSScott"]   I am unsure if some actions/restrictions that my boss has taken against me may be a violation of the ada psychiatric rules.  I have major depression, for which I have been diagnosed and am under treatment for (medications).  Because of this sickness, I have difficulties interacting with co-workers. [...][/quote]

    Keep in mind that you are only entitled to "reasonable" accomodation.  Often, particularly in psych cases, the treating physician (it must be a psychiatrist, NOT a psychologist) will suggest accomodations that are not reasonable, such as "no contact with customers and highly limited and structured contact with co-workers" as a suggestion for a business consultant.  It's not possible in that job to have that as an accomodation.  Start thinking about what you do and the extent to which maintaining a good relationship with your coworkers is an essential part of performing your job.

    Also keep in mind that your depression may not be severe enough, as treated, to be eligible for ADA consideration.

  • *sigh* Don't you just love the new ADA regulations..........They were supposed to make things "easier" weren't they????



    I would highly recommend you start out by speaking to your HR Director. It's always a good starting point. Also - your manager might not be aware of what exactly "reasonable"accomodation consists of or that there is even a need for them. Your boss might just be coming down hard on you because he expects more from you (you stated that you receive high marks on your reviews for your abilities). Basically, there are a lot of variables to the equation here. I sincerely hope this works out for the best for you. If you go into it with an open mind and remember that the only one who knows what is going on inside of you is YOU things just might get better for you. Best of luck!

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