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Can't use my hands - UAW Worker - MI
#1
Hello, thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

I've been working on the assembly line for 6 months now and the pain in my hands has become unbearable. It's a struggle to type this, unscrewing the cap off my water bottle makes me squint in pain, opening my car door has become an event, and the swelling in my hands has me unable to wear my wedding ring.  

I was put on a job that is known to be brutal on the hands, and I've toughed it out for as long as I could. I wake up every morning with my hands so swollen and stiff that I don't know how I'm going to make it through the day, yet I pop some Ibuprofen and work through the pain. But I just can't do it anymore, the pain has become too much and I feel like I'm causing irreversible damage. I also feel like a let down to my family. 

I'm not looking for sympathy by saying all this, I'm just in need of some advice.  I need some time off and I don't know how to go about getting it.  I don't even want to get paid, I just need some time for my hands to properly heal so I can get back to work.  I'm afraid of losing my job if I don't follow the steps properly, and worse yet, I don't know what the steps for going on a short leave of absence are.

Any help is appreciated.
 
Reply
#2
usually large employers issue employee handbooks to new hires that outline the various programs available.
if not, your personnel department should have some written information available about leave programs and how to apply.

if you have vacation time, you can take it.
some employers might grant unpaid leave depending on the circumstances.
since you are in a union, you can get advice on what leave programs are open to employees from your rep.

generally those with health issues like to find out what is wrong and see if they can be treated.
that usually means visiting a physician.
have you thought about going to a doctor to find out what is wrong?

if you have a medical condition unrelated to your job, most employers have sick leave programs that grant time off with medical approval.
if the condition with your hands is caused by your job, then you are eligible for workers compensation insurance benefits.

the doctor has to decide whether it's caused by the job or not.
your union can give you the procedure for filing a claim but generally you and your doctor have to notify the employer in writing.

you may have to go to a company approved medical facility for treatment.

more on workers comp in michigan here
http://www.michigan.gov/wca/0,4682,7-191...--,00.html

there should also be a poster on the employee bulletin board with information about work injuries.
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.
 
Reply
#3
Thank you for taking the time to write out a response and for helping someone in a tough spot.  I visited my doctor today and started my claim thanks to the info you provided.
 
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