Epilepsy Foundation

Does anyone find it hard to find work while you are still trying to get your seizures/epilepsy under control.

I mean I don't want to sit around all day I would like a job and to make some money and an apartment in a city so that I don't need a car because I'm sure I will keep going through these times where I cannot drive however I don't feel comfortable getting a job because I myself don't feel I can be reliable. I could have to show up late one day because I may not feel well in the morning and at the moment I can't drive. There are all these factors. So how is work for all of you?

Views: 262

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Karin,

My work experience is as follows:

My seizures (grand mal) began in 1975 while in college. I have worked continuously since 1977, although some years were part-time while in graduate school. My seizures evolved into complex partials by 1990. The grand mal seizures averaged once a year so sometimes I was driving and other times I was not. The complex partials average 12 per year so I voluntarily surrendered my driver's license. I have used public transit on some occasions, but most of the time my wife has been able to drive me to work.

I've been fortunate in that my employer is enlighted about epilepsy and my employer and coworkers are supportive. Some of that comes from my being open about my epilepsy so they know what is occuring and to simply let the seizure run its course. It is only a short time until I resume work. I'm employed by a local unit of government and staff a committee that holds regular public meetings. On two occasions I have had a complex partial during a meeting. Since I've made the committee fully aware of my condition, if a seizure occurs the Chair explains to those in attendance what is occurring and pauses until I'm able to proceed (usually about two minutes).

So if you feel you are able to work you should make the effort. Don't be discouraged if things don't work out with a given employer. Try again. Also remember you have certain rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Review the law before applying for a job so you know your rights. There are limits to what a perspective employer can ask you regarding your health (and what you need to disclose) until after an actually job offer has been made.

Good luck!

Gary

Thanks Gary

I usually don't tell my employers but I do feel bad when I will end up calling in late or out. I can't resume right away after a grand mal, I have a massive headache and am out of it for quite a while. I end up sleeping all day depending on how long the seizure is I guess. I never know because I'm unconscious. If it's just a drop of a few drops which is what was occuring consistently from a certain med I was taking I could get right back up but that was even scarier because you had no idea when they would happen. Now that I stopped that med and am back to others I just have grand mals and they leave me beat for the day

If you live in a "right to work" state, you will have fewer rights.  The ADA seems quite useless ina right to work state.  It was for me.  So was the EEOC. 

 

In states where corporations and big business are always given the upper hand, those with physical and/or mental health challenges get the extremely short end of the stick.

 

sorry to be negative but this is just the way things are right now...and they appear to getting worse from my perspective.

 

I would suggest taking a voice operated recorder to your interview and teling themm that you have grand mal seizures and then asking if thats a problem.  I got fired after having a seizure at work and one of their reasons was that I didnt tell them.  i didnt tell them because I had spent years being told by my Vocation rehab counselor that I couldnt tell employers about my epilepsy.

 

If I had any rights, I never found out about them.

PS: dont take a VOR to an interview -- I have no idea how to help...sorry...except to attempt to slow the march of ever increasing corporate rights over citizens rights

Yes, so I've changed meds many times and at the moment I am on onfi and zonegran. It seems to work but I still can't play around with my sleep. I had a seizure Monday while surfing basically because of two main reasons- I went out the night before until 4am (no I didn't drink and stopped drinking 100% which was tough and annoying bc I am a social bug) and woke up at 10.30 so I was out of it from the morning, just too tired, I knew I wasn't 100%.

But second, I mean I was fine to get to the beach, but in the ocean the way the light scatters in the water when it hits a wave it is like a kaleidoscope/strobe light effect. So that plus my tiredness set me off and I had a seizure and almost drowned.

I shouldn't have surfed. I just wanted to. I don't want to stop life. But I knew I was tired. Either way. I still need to find a job where I won't be tired in the morning and possibly have a seizure. Bar work was great for me because I could stay awake super late and just sleep late. But, it's not a career.

I think once your body gets used to waking up early it will be ok.

I wonder if I could be a teacher because I am worried that I wouldn't be able to make it for the kids every morning. ...

Karin,

I can understand ur frustration.  I was recently fired from and I am pretty sure it was due to my E.  Having to switch of evening shirt (which were fine) to morning shift having to be at work by 7am doesn't help my E.  I did have a few at work and of course waking up earlier than I normal and being tired effect my work.  There were several times when I would do something wrong.  I had asked for accomdations but none were given.  They told I needed more supervision and that I should find a different type of work, which I am not going to do.  I went to college for a reason to follow my dreams, so screw them.  Just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong : ).  I also don't drive which makes it a lot harder I can find jobs I want to do but they are too far away to get to.  

Hope that helps some.

Don't tell any ski resorts if you are a ski instructor that you have epilepsy bc they won't let you instruct. Years ago bc I told them after having a seizure they said it was a safety issue etc and had me teaching on the magic carpet every day, said if I was to teach on the chairlift I'd need to be harnessed down for law purposes. It was ridiculous.
So for all those skiers out there. Don't ever mention it to the mtn.

I always wait to tell an employer about my epilepsy. Once I am hired and have been on the job for about a week or so--that is when I will mention it and address any concerns of what to do in the event that I have a seizure. That way they can lot let my condition influence their hiring decision and they can also not legally fire me for missing work days due to the epilepsy.

Untill our seizures are under controll your right it is verrryyy hard to be reliable. Mostly because these things are so unpredictable. My jobs since being diagnosed have been "Per diem" which means as you want... Basically if I want the hours I have them and if I cant handle them I dont work them. That worked out good because there was no penality for calling off for a day or a week if I needed it. Of course that would kill my bills, but whats worse?

 

You may want to review the EEOC Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 available at:

 

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/

 

While the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 went into effect in January 2009, full implementation of the Act did not occur until the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final rule on March 25, 2011.  At the website you will find the full text of the rule and, what may me more helpful, a short summary and a questions and answers section.  The amendments helped to clarify that epilepsy is a disability covered under the Act and is expected to apply in most cases.  However, because coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis, the Act may not apply in individual cases.  Also it applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.  In addition to defining disabilities, the Act includes important provisions on reasonable accommodation and in what circumstances medical inquires are prohibited or permitted.

Off hand do you know if I could get fired for not disclosing my epilepsy?  I have been employed almost one year.  They did do a physical and I had to fill out a health questionaire which stated that if all was not correct I could be terminated.  However, I wasn't officially hired at that point.  I live in a right to work state but I think my employer is a fair and ethical company.  It's also in the medical field but I have no patient contact.  My seizures are controlled with meds.  Though I am working nights and I do experiences some small seizures that I don't think are noticeable.  At lease no one has said anything.  I am going to take the first availble pm shift but in the mean time I will just pray.

m51ngc5195 said:

You may want to review the EEOC Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 available at:

 

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/

 

While the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 went into effect in January 2009, full implementation of the Act did not occur until the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final rule on March 25, 2011.  At the website you will find the full text of the rule and, what may me more helpful, a short summary and a questions and answers section.  The amendments helped to clarify that epilepsy is a disability covered under the Act and is expected to apply in most cases.  However, because coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis, the Act may not apply in individual cases.  Also it applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.  In addition to defining disabilities, the Act includes important provisions on reasonable accommodation and in what circumstances medical inquires are prohibited or permitted.

Rene,

 

I suggest you read sections 1630.13 and 1630.14 of the final rule regarding medical examinations and inquires.

 

The employment process really has three stages (these are my words): (1) application, (2) job offered, and (3) once employed. The employer (or potential employer) has more rights to inquire as the process proceeds. For example, at which stage were you for the physical examination and health questionnaire? They can be done at stage 2 or 3. If you answered the questions truthfully there shouldn't be a problem. You really need to talk to someone more informed than I to answer your specific question.

 

Hope you get the shift time you want.

 

Gary


Rene K said:

Off hand do you know if I could get fired for not disclosing my epilepsy?  I have been employed almost one year.  They did do a physical and I had to fill out a health questionaire which stated that if all was not correct I could be terminated.  However, I wasn't officially hired at that point.  I live in a right to work state but I think my employer is a fair and ethical company.  It's also in the medical field but I have no patient contact.  My seizures are controlled with meds.  Though I am working nights and I do experiences some small seizures that I don't think are noticeable.  At lease no one has said anything.  I am going to take the first availble pm shift but in the mean time I will just pray.

m51ngc5195 said:

You may want to review the EEOC Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 available at:

 

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/

 

While the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 went into effect in January 2009, full implementation of the Act did not occur until the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final rule on March 25, 2011.  At the website you will find the full text of the rule and, what may me more helpful, a short summary and a questions and answers section.  The amendments helped to clarify that epilepsy is a disability covered under the Act and is expected to apply in most cases.  However, because coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis, the Act may not apply in individual cases.  Also it applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.  In addition to defining disabilities, the Act includes important provisions on reasonable accommodation and in what circumstances medical inquires are prohibited or permitted.

My employer told me specifically that I dont have to tell them. But when I do, their allowed to ask how far the impairment may go, what restrictions the medications / seizures may cause, ect. And then determine if you are "Safe to work" If I dont mention my E, employers arent allowed to ask. My employers also arent allowed to disclose that I was "Let go" because of a disablity. I also work in a hire and fire state. CA

Thankfully Im a nurse (L.V.N / L.P.N) so my bosses are R.N's and Doctors. They know about seizures and know when Im having them before I do sometimes. I've worked for the same company basically from 2005 when I was diagnosed. Was off for 2 years till they were under controll and then they still hired me back. They put me out on Family medical leave this last time ( last summer) untill I could get my seizures back under controll. But are very understanding and help me understand the "Rules"

 

 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Terms of Service Update 6/4/2012

We have updated our Terms of Service for eCommunities Groups.

Events

November 2014
SMTWTFS
1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30

© 2014   Created by EF Admin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service