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Lost Job Due To Fainting

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I had lost by job about a month ago after fainting at work and being admitted to the hospital.

Does anyone know if this is against the law? I was working at Maine Medical Center cleaning patients rooms. They told me I'm always welcomed back if I am in good health. It was really to much for me..but I was hoping they could have found something for me to do sitting down. Now I'm not sure what I'm suppose to do. If I apply somewhere ealse and I tell them about this condition they probably wont hire me.

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Wow, Heather. That's really awful!

I know that the law says "reasonable accomodations" must be made by employers so that employees can keep working, but I'm no lawyer. And I don't know how far "reasonable accomodations" go.

Would it be possible to look for a job that would be less likely to cause you to faint, such as a desk job? I have no problems at my job because I spend 98 percent of my time sitting.

Do you know anyone who's a lawyer? That might be the most help! If not, I think the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be the government office that deals with such things.

Wish I could be more help!

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Heather, have you been at your job for over 12 months, and worked over 1,250 hours in previous 12 months? Because if you did, then you qualify for FMLA (If your employer has more than 50 employees).

That seems pretty awful for someone to do, especially an employer that is involved in healthcare.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful


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So sorry about your job, or lack thereof.

Please check out the FMLA for coverage quests and other FACS. Here is a "Synopsis of Law":

Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;

for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;

to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or

to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Good luck. Perhaps the 12-week leave will help you as you "heal." Also, check out "reasonable" accommodation. Are you eligible for SSDI or SSI?

Let us know how you fare. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


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they totally cannot do that! You could sue that for that, if they specficially said they were letting you go because you fainted. personally, i would look into getting work at mercy hospital, MUCH MUCH more respectful over there!

so sorry you're going through this........BUT, that being said, cleaning patient rooms I would think would be some grueling on you and would look into a job that doesnt require so much bending, squatting, standing -- things that trigger POTS and syncopal events for people who are prone to it.

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I am so sorry you have had this happen.

I agree with the others, it is illegal for them to fire you for this reason. It falls under the ADA standards as well as discrimination laws. The particulars depend upon exactly what the reason they state for firing you, but if there is any indication that it was because of a health issue, they are liable.

Check it out.

On the flip side, perhaps this is a blessing in some way. Maybe this will lead to an even more fulfilling and less physically demanding job for you. I am not in any way dismissing your distress (anger, sadness, fear . . . ) but sometimes good things come from what seems to be the most horrible of happenings.

I was fired once from an absolutely crummy job. Within days, really less than a week, I had a new much better job. I worked there for 3 years, I think and it was great. I couldn't have seen the blessing in being fired at the time, but it truly was. Soon after i was fired, the business closed. So, I would have been losing my job anyway as it turned out.

I do feel your pain. Frequently, I fear for my own job. I feel as if I am just waiting to be fired at times.

I'm sorry these fears came to fruition for you.

Are you OK physically? Did you hit your head or anything when you fainted?

Hang in there, I'll say a prayer.


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Required fine print (cause, well, I'm a lawyer): This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is hereby formed.

I am so sorry that this happened to you. I don't want to sound cruel, but I'd hate for you to count on the legal system or EEOC (both of which are very backlogged) to get you your job back. It sounds like, from your very brief description, that you probably have been adjudged to be unable to perform your essential job functions, even with reasonable accomadations. The best, non-legalese way to describe the reasonable accomadation standard is that employers are required to go after the low-hanging fruit of accessibility: if there's some relatively simple change that can be made in scheduling or protocols without affecting anybody else, or if there's an easily obtainable piece of equipment that doesn't cost a lot more then a similiar non-accessible piece of equipment , then they should make the accomadation. But if something is too costly, or is going to require some sort of corporate change that will affect others, then they don't have to do it. And they don't have to give you another job if there's not one available for which you are qualified. Furthermore, they can require a release stating that you can do the essential job functions before reemploying you. Now, it may still be worth checking into your state regs- some states give you more rights then those federally available.

As I said, I don't want to be cruel, and I'm not saying you don't have some remedies available. But I've represented mainly employers, and I've won more than I've lost on these kinds of cases. The reason I'm posting this sort of 'downer' message is because I have seen too many opposing parties wear themselves and their families out fighting for a job that they can't do and don't even like- I'd hate to see you fall into the same trap. God Bless.

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I'm not a lawyer but I was going to say the same thing- if your job descriotion requires you to clean, and you can't stand up to physically do the cleaning, I don't think you have much a comeback, as it's not the kind of job where you can spend most of your time sitting.

I'm really sorry though- their attitude *****. They should be concerned for your welfare and how you are!

You could look upon it as a blessing- firstly that you didn't faint yourself into a serious injury, and secondly that you can now go about getting a job that will be far less physically demanding, perhaps one involving admin and sitting at a desk.

Out of something bad comes something good- it's no coincidence that the Chinese word for crisis is the same as the word for opportunity.

Best of luck

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that was good of you,

Are you sure your a Lawyer?


sorry, I couldn't resist!

yeah yeah...how's this one- I'm a BLOND lawyer. From Alabama. I'm a walking (well, since I've got dysautonomia, the walking can be iffy from time to time) stand-up comedy routine.


One thing I did want to add though: how much you choose to tell a new employer about your disability is up to you. Of course, as a practical matter, you want to reveal some of it because you want to make sure you can do the job, and that they will be understanding. But there are some lines in the interview that employers cannot cross in questioning you about your health status.

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Love the whole Legally Blonde thing here. That was a great movie. But glad the lawyer did post for your behalf. Any kind of legal advice that is free from a member of the POTS club, should be considered. I love my lawyer and his advice, but it's costing a small fortune. Why battle over a job when there are other employers out there that my be more considerate of your health and feelings. And why waste the energy and money on it. I feel very sorry for you in the fact that you lost your job and that it was I'm sure very hurtful to you. But don't let it get you down. I found an employer that I could be totally honest with and they worked with me for almost a year before I had to quit because of my health. They even told me that if I got better to come back and I could have my old job back. I would love that, but don't see it happening anytime in the near future. There are employers out there that do care, it just finding them. You don't have to tell them your whole health history, just let them know that you have an illness that will require time off for doctors appointment once in a while or an occasional sick day.

Not sure what area your in, but here in MD our county has a program that assists displaced workers due to health or family change. It is called the Job Training Agency. It is a state/gov funded program that will retrain you, for free, for another job. When I was in my early 20's due to a divorce and having a child and only a GED my field was limited. I qualified under displaced housewife and received my vocational training for free.. It was a great program and I enjoyed it. There were people from all walks of life there. You might want to check to see if our area has anything like it.

I wish you the best in your search for new employment and heres hoping you can find what your looking for or at least a good desk job in the AC.

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My brother is a lawyer and I have often told him that he is too nice to be a lawyer! So, I know that there are some good ones in the bunch. I love it when we women can shake up the stereotypes in a traditionally male profession!

I lost my job due to POTS too four years ago. I met with a lawyer who said I would have grounds on which to sue them. As others have mentioned, I then thought, "Why do I want to work someplace TOXIC where they do not want me?" Also, why do I want to waste my time, precious energy and money on those dirtbags. As a friend said to me, "When God closes a door, he opens a window". That comforted me.

When I was looking for a new position, I had two "headhunters" and looked myself. I had tons of places express no interest whatsoever, and say "no way". I wanted to be completely upfront about my illness so that I would not be surprised by later finding out that they had a bad attitude about my illness. By being upfront, I knew that they accepted my illness before I stepped into my position. They knew upfront exactly what I could not do at the job and appreciated me for what I can do. I found a gem of a position and don't have to hide a thing. I regularly think about how lucky I am.

I hope you can brainstorm about what you can do and then find a job to meet that description.


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If it helps you feel better, I was forced into early retirement because the public school system where I taught could not accommodate my NCS. Each time I hit the floor, they were required to call the EMTs, and I would find myself at the ER. I was lucky in that I did retire with 25+ years service, and was able to keep my INS benefits.

Looking back, I could not have continued to teach, anyway. I am unable to sit or stand for long periods, and the demands of teaching were too much with these disorders.

I hope you are able to find employment. You WOULD think such a thing would be illegal but I had a good attorney explain to me that while many things are unethical, they may not necessarily be illegal.

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