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how to keep my job without changing my work restriction
#1
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Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and to the workers comp world and I hope that I can get a little advice on my situation. So here is my story. I was invovled in a laboratory accident about 5 months ago. I was exposed to several different "unknown" chemical vapors, and I now have reactive airway dysfunction syndrome. My asthma is horrible. I went from running 15-20 miles a week to sucking on a rescue inhaler so I can walk accross the parking lot. My company is in WA state and they don't use state L&l to process their claims. They are self insured. My pulmonologist has given me a work restriction that says no work where a potential exposure to chemical vapors is likely. Ok, that's fine and my company agrees to accommodate. I was assigned to a certain area for several months following the accident. Then all of the sudden im told that I can't be assigned to that job or any work inside the entire building where the lab is located. The building is huge and includes non lab areas like our admin offices, supervisors office, restrooms, lunchrooms, computer area to complete our daily paperwork. There are safe areas are where bosses put the pregnant workers and other light duty people. I am allowed to be in those admin/general areas whenever I need. The bosses stop by and talk to me while I do paperwork. Here is the hangup, they wont assign me any work in those admin/general areas because they feel that if a catastrophic event were to happen then I might get a chemical exposure and that would violate my work restriction. Are these people serious?? I asked them how they justify saying the admin areas are safe for pregnant people and other general employees but not safe enough for me? They told me to change my work restriction. I called a lawyer over in Seattle and they said to never. change a work restriction unless your Doc says so and that the company is wrong for reducing my job scope based on an unlikely catatrophic event.. Im so stressed out and I have been told that here in the next few months they wont have anything for me and will have to let me go...AND I will have to fight tooth and nail to get time loss payments from the self insured L & I insurace. What do I do? I know they have work for me and they are getting aroud it by claiming that the sky could fall.....only on me. Im getting forced out of work! Has anybody else had this kind of problem?
 
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#2
i'm not sure what information or assistance a message board can provide that your lawyer can't.
you have the right to reasonable accommodation under federal ADA rules.
what is "reasonable" may have to be litigated.
more here
http://www.ada.gov/

you may also have rights under EEOC
http://www.eeoc.gov/

you can't make or force your employer to do anything; you can only raise penalty and litigation issues which they have to consider when making an employment decision about you.
washington should require temporary disability payments if the employer cannot provide modified work --until your condition becomes at maximum medical improvement.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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