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refusal to accommodate store employee with temporary disability

Posted Thu February 9, 2012 8:57 am, by Laure S. written to Shop Rite

Write a Letter to this Company

My daughter is an employee of your company. Recently she was diagnosed with acute mononucleosis. Her doctor has written a letter for a reduction in her hours down to 10 hours temporarily to allow her to recover.
She was informed by her supervisor that she cannot work at all. They will not permit a reduction of hours. I spoke to the HR staff member who stated that the "union won't allow it"

The American with disabilities act is a federal law that protects individuals with even temporary disability. The ADA states that a covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. Discrimination may include, among other things, limiting or classifying a job applicant or employee in an adverse way, denying employment opportunities to people who truly qualify, or not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of disabled employees,

When I pressed Brandy, the HR staff she stated that a letter had to be written requesting accommodations. The only accommodation needed is the reduction of hours that the doctor feels is necessary right now. I do believe that this is a short term issue which will resolve shortly.

I am angry that a company as big as Shop rite does not make accommodations. I expect that a company as large as yours to have staff that are well versed in the law and respond accordingly in a responsible, positive, caring manner.

Review their polices on accommodating individuals with disability. Train staff in retail locations to respond accordingly.


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by Jared C. Posted Thu February 23, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

Two things that show your complaint is without merit:

1) Your daughter is NOT covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act
as mononucleosis is NOT a disability, but an illness that goes away
with treatment The ADA only covers permanent disabilities, not
temporary ones that are really just sicknesses.

2) Mononecleosis is CONTAGIOUS, which is an excellent reason why your
daughter should NOT be allowed to work at all until she is better and
NOT contagiouys.


by MA Bellamy Posted Mon February 13, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

who were concerned that your daughter's very contagious condition
(that's why they call it the "kissing disease") is what may actually
be keeping them from letting her work.

However, here's another thought. My neighbor recently had very
serious neck surgery to replace a bulging disk (she was treated using
a cadaver bone, so it was sort of a transplant!) She was a postal
worker/mail carrier before she got injured (likely from all the heavy
bags and such she has to lift and carry.) and because of the long time
it takes for that newly fused bone to heal properly and the high
possibility that it could be reinjured, causing greater damage, her
Dr. would only allow her to come back to work on light duty.

The problem is that they don't HAVE a light duty, job at the post
office. Pretty much every role requires a great deal of standing and
walking, not to mention, being able to pick up objects that could
weigh as much as 50 lbs.

What is the post office supposed to find for her to do for the next
3-4 months until she is fully healed? She can sort her mail, but
can't put it in her truck. She can deliver some items, but she could
still get stuck with something she can't lift. And what if someone
has an item for her to bring back on her route? Who will help her
load it?

What if she misjudges the weight of a box and goes to pick it up and
winds up damaging that disk more? Her Dr. has already said, certain
kinds of damage before she's healed could leave her paralyzed.

But according to ADA, my friend is disabled.

How do they accommodate that?


That's their problem, not hers. by The Original Nethead Mon February 13, 2012 @ 5:24 PM

Not exactly. by MA Bellamy Tue February 14, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

..not to mention dealing with the USPS when a problem crops up... by The Original Nethead Tue February 14, 2012 @ 3:04 PM

Actually.. by Harleycat Thu February 16, 2012 @ 7:30 PM

by fairywithfangs Posted Fri February 10, 2012 @ 8:15 PM

I'm actually hoping that the reason they would not allow her to work
is because Mono is a CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS. This is a grocery store for
goodness sake.

Also, I have had mono -- it is not considered a disability, not even a
short term one. It does make you feel horrible and crummy for what
seems like forever, but it is not an illness.


Yeah, by Ben G. Fri February 10, 2012 @ 7:56 AM
by jeishere Posted Fri February 10, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

Why would you punish the business because their employees are union?
I'm pretty sure the people who run Shop Rite would give their left
hands if they didn't have to deal with the union.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Fri February 10, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

A lot, apparently.


I would entertain your question red... by Ben G. Sat February 18, 2012 @ 10:09 PM
by Ben G. Posted Sat February 18, 2012 @ 10:07 PM

are irrelevant today. If a company chooses to run their business model
in a state that requires unionization, thats up to them. I will not
support a business that makes poor decisions.

Look at GM. The bondholders got screwed as we bailed out a company
that was "too big to fail" when in reality, it ran a poor business
model. Over $2200 of the sale of each car goes to union salaries and

GM should have been allowed to fail. END. OF. STORY. The fact that
taxpayers who work for Toyota or any other car company that has
workers in the United States has to watch their government bail out
their competitor is absolutely absurd.

Unions strangle the business and protect bad workers. If a manager
thinks your talent is worth X amount of dollars, than thats what you
are worth to that manager. You don't like it? Tough, work somewhere
else or go to school and better yourself.

It shouldn't be artificially propped up.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Thu February 9, 2012 @ 1:00 PM

I just did a google search and found the eeoc's website, which covers
this, and no, mono is NOT considered to be a temporary disability.
"Temporary disabilities" have to meet certain criteria, and mono
doesn't. Neither does recovery for most surgeries.



Thanks.. by Harleycat Thu February 9, 2012 @ 6:39 PM

what about FMLA by PepperElf Fri February 10, 2012 @ 9:26 AM

Already used all my FMLA.. by Harleycat Fri February 10, 2012 @ 11:24 AM

ack. sorry i meant for the OP. but i hope yours works out as well n/t by PepperElf Mon February 13, 2012 @ 8:48 AM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Thu February 9, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

I find it hard to believe that mono would qualify as a "temporary
disability' under the ADA. It's an illness and it lasts about a


And it's pretty contagious. The ADA is to make things equal for everyone, but by Steve OH (IO) Thu February 9, 2012 @ 1:03 PM

by batmoody Posted Thu February 9, 2012 @ 10:44 AM

Mononucleosis is contagious. I can absolutely understand why the
company or the union might want her to take the time off. Especially
working in a retail setting.

If she's union, she probably has some kind of sick pay or disability
pay that would kick in. I'd be going that route and give her the time
to rest and possibly not infect anyone else. While getting paid.

Just imagine if she sneezes in the vicinity of another employee or
customer, or licking her fingers to grab bags or papers, the panic
that can ensue. Do you let everyone know? Or do you not, and take the
chance another employee might accidentally take a sip from her straw
and oops...wrong drink, that one wasn't mine ha ha...

I can totally understand why the company would rather she just stayed

And whatever the ADA states, I doubt it has anything to do with
contagious, infectious disabilities when you are working in a very
public setting like that.


by PepperElf Posted Thu February 9, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

1) You may need to review the ADA rules to see if the illness is
covered under it. Some site say ambiguous while others say it's

2) They have every right to have this put in writing. You cannot
simply walk up and say "Give her accommodations" without filling out
forms etc.

So the letter isn't a wrong thing to do. If you write it, I recommend
including a copy of the doctor's information.

I've done this too. I received accommodations in college once and had
to fill out a ton of paperwork including the paperwork from my

3) if this doesn't work then you'll probably have to talk to a lawyer.
Or consider using FMLA - but remember that too will require paperwork
and not just verbally asking for it.


At Will Employment States by T. B. Fri February 10, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

The OP is in NY.. by Harleycat Fri February 10, 2012 @ 5:59 PM

can't hurt to look it up at least by PepperElf Mon February 13, 2012 @ 8:53 AM

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