Workplace discrimination?

Hello all,

I have bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and it has caused me troubles at work. I have had some absences and a leave due to a hospitalization but I have submitted paperwork from said hospitalization and a letter from my psych to prove my diagnoses. The problem is, every time I have a debilitating panic attack or episode of depression, I am taken down to a very snooty nurse in the occupational medicine department who drug tests me and places me on administrative leave. I realize that employers have a right to random drug test, but on my paperwork the nurse checks off "reasonable suspicion" even though I have come back negative each time and am otherwise a great employee. Is this discrimination? I'm feeling a little judged and criminalized and I'm wondering if I have grounds to take it up with HR. Any advice would be appreciated!

3 Replies

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  • Hello,

    Without knowing what type of company you work for, I would say you can always speak to an HR representative to confirm whether or not the nurses behavior is acceptable and depending on what they say, go from there. They should be able to tell you whether what she's doing is considered discrimination and/or in line with your companies policies.

    There are a couple questions I would be curious about if I were in your situation such as do those forms with "reasonable suspicion" get logged in your employee file at all? Do all employees who go on administrative medical leave get drug tested like you are?

    Were you required to submit the letter from your Dr. to prove your diagnosis? I've always been told it's illegal for an employer to ask. Just the Dr.'s note should suffice.

    I hope you're able to receive help from the HR dept.

    Warmest Regards,

    AS

  • Hello. When I was still practicing law, some discrimination/health issue would pop up. Important to know where you live, and if in the USA, which state, as the law can vary. Regarding seeking help from the HR personnel about the actions of the company nurse, tread lightly. There should be a policy and procedure manual which you have access to that would cover that. Wouldn't get too many people putting their noses in your situation. Remember the HR department isn't always just considering your rights, but is a department paid by the company to protect its interests.

  • Hi I don't know about the USA but in the UK employers have to make reasonable adjustments if they are aware you have an illness due to the Health and Safety at Work Act. RA could be extra leave, more breaks, changing you to a different job ect. I presume the USA have similar laws so you need to have a look at these.

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