If you are currently employed or considering a potential job opportunity, it helps to know what your rights and responsibilities are as someone with lupus under the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may remember that for this past Lupus Awareness Month, I teamed up with the amazing Healthgrades.com for a series on Lupus and employment. This article was part of that original series.
Learn more about your rights below:
Lupus and Working: Your Rights and Responsibilities
It’s common for people living with chronic illness to worry that a diagnosis or potential work challenge might threaten their job security. Men and women who have been newly diagnosed with lupus or are returning to work after a lupus flare may wonder how it will be possible to perform certain job responsibilities upon resuming a regular work schedule. In addition, deciding to disclose a diagnosis or need for accommodation to employers can cause anxiety and apprehension.
These issues are valid concerns for any individual working with lupus, and fundamental questions inevitably arise, such as:
- Do lupus legal rights or protections exist for employees who suffer from debilitating medical conditions?
- Can employees working with lupus request certain accommodations that would make performing job-related functions more tolerable and enhance productivity?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), people working with lupus or other disabling conditions have rights and legal protections to assist them in achieving success in the workplace.
What accommodations does the ADA allow?
Employees can ask their employers for accommodations under laws from the ADA. Accommodations are modifications set up within the workplace to help employees manage their illness-related symptoms on the job so their productivity is not negatively impacted by their chronic condition. For someone with lupus, this could mean reducing hours to prevent fatigue, changing lighting to address photosensitivity, or offering remote workdays to limit exposure during flu season. As a result, the employee’s symptoms are managed or even reduced while working with lupus, and productivity is enhanced.
Read the entire article on HealthGrades, here.