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Geri
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10 Feb 2008, 3:01 pm

I have been working as a transcriptionist for 20 years and with one company, a large doctor group in Philadelphia, for 4 years with an excellent work record. Recently I was not offered a promotion that I feel I should have been after I told my employer that I had Asperger and might need help with talking to people if the promotion was offered to me. I cannot deal with stress and this just stressed me so much I am getting physically sick. I told my employer that I felt I was being treated unfairly in regard to the promotion and requested time off to see a counselor to help me deal with the stress. They told me Asperger is not considered a disability under the Americans with Disability Act and that they only had to accomodate a physical disability like being in a wheelchair. I think they are wrong but it is a Catch 22--I cannot get time off to get a doctor to verify that I have asperger and that it is a disability but I have to do that in order to get time off. In the meantime they are making me follow rules to request time off that they did not do before and no one else has to do.

I am losing "my center" and starting to cry and shake at work. I feel like I am losing all the ground I have gained in acting "normal". I am going to talk to a lawyer next week but i am so depressed it just feels hopeless. I cannot afford to lose my job or stop working, and my employer knows that. Sorry, to ramble on but I just needed to vent.



Paula
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10 Feb 2008, 5:23 pm

Thas not true, any nuerological or mental health diagnoses has to be accomodated. The schools also try to pull this same thing as your employer and it's not allowed. Contact your local Labor Board or Better Business Bureau. My husband is NT and he's been denied promotions that should have gone to him. He can't claim a disability. These things happen, and he knows this. If you can't prove discrimination, then you can't. My husband has had to just "Deal" there was nothing else he could do. File a complaint, and look for another job was an option for him. He didn't choose that route. However a possible new promotion will be coming up soon, if he's denied he'll file a complaint.



hartzofspace
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10 Feb 2008, 5:24 pm

Whatever you do, don't get discouraged and let this go on. I think you have made an important step in seeking a lawyer's advice! It sounds like illegal things are going on here. Employers are not qualified to determine what a disability is or isn't. It sounds like you have asked for reasonable accommodation, and they have refused to give it. That's their first mistake. Also, you have worked for them for 20 years! That should count for something.


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Geri
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10 Feb 2008, 8:54 pm

Thank you everybody for the encouragement. I have no self confidence any more and
I am starting to feel that the problem is my fault--I always do-- even when it isn't. My brain sort of shuts down when I am stressed and I'm afraid I'm going to make mistakes at work although I never have before. Or I'm going to have a panic attack and become hysterical, which has not happened to me in years. It helps to talk to people who understand what it is like living with this. I was first told over 30 years ago in college that I had definitie autistic traits and five years ago a psychiatric treating me for depression told me that I had Asperger in his opinion. And I seem to have more difficulty living with it as I get older.



kornik
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25 Feb 2008, 2:51 am

You have done tis job for 20 years so you can do it and are capable.

I would try and appraoch this less confronationally initially. Speak to your immediate supervisor or a trusted colleague and explain the situation. See if you can gain some emotional and practical support by having somewhere there when things become overwhelming.

Depending on how this works out, I would then speak to Human Resources. Come at it from the angle that I love my job, like the company and have made an effective and important controbution for a very long time "I want this to continue".

See where this takes you before going legal. have confidence: you CAN do this!

Good luck


Geri wrote:
Thank you everybody for the encouragement. I have no self confidence any more and
I am starting to feel that the problem is my fault--I always do-- even when it isn't. My brain sort of shuts down when I am stressed and I'm afraid I'm going to make mistakes at work although I never have before. Or I'm going to have a panic attack and become hysterical, which has not happened to me in years. It helps to talk to people who understand what it is like living with this. I was first told over 30 years ago in college that I had definitie autistic traits and five years ago a psychiatric treating me for depression told me that I had Asperger in his opinion. And I seem to have more difficulty living with it as I get older.



ignisfatuus
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03 Mar 2008, 3:52 am

Quote:
They told me Asperger is not considered a disability under the Americans with Disability Act and that they only had to accomodate a physical disability like being in a wheelchair.


A federal judge ruled that Asperger's is a disability in a 2006 case in Maine. You can check out the case details here.