Multiple Sclerosis - To Tell Or Not To Tell

Female physician
Female physician | Source
Would you reveal a disability at time of interview if it was in remission for a long time?
Would you reveal a disability at time of interview if it was in remission for a long time? | Source

Employing the Disabled - researched by awordlover

This hub is to discuss whether one should "tell" or "not tell" an employer that they have Multiple Sclerosis. It seems there are some advantages and some disadvantages in each case.

Depending on what stage of the disease you are in, it is an important question to consider, both for those who are actively employed to tell or not tell an employer, and for those who are not employed to tell or not tell friends and family.

I have been employed in the Health Care field in various capacities for nearly 40 years, have had MS since 1976, and with two of the employers I worked for, I reluctantly told them I had MS. In both cases, they did not treat me the same after they were told.

The phrases or words you will hear over and over again when it comes to employment of the disabled are:

  • "EEOC - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" -They will help you pursue an employer to either get your job back or cite them for financial reimbursement to you for time lost from the job, discrimination or loss of benefits. Update: December 2013 - EEOC procured a financial settlement for awordlover from her former employer.
  • "reasonable accommodation" - this is what an employer has to provide to you in order for you to be able to perform your job.
  • "direct threat (to patient care)" - this is an employer's last card to play when they have no sound reasons to fire you
  • "undue hardship to the employer in the operation of his business" - this is an excuse the employer uses when they cite that any accommodation they give you will impact their business (financially or reputation)
  • "a qualified individual with a disability" - that's you! You become qualified when you tell the employer of your disability and show documentation of proof.
  • "handicap accessible" - all public places and places of employment must be handicap accessible (to employees and to the public)
  • "FMLA - Family Medical Leave Act" - this is the time off you need for flareups of your disabiity. It can be hours, days, weeks or months up to 12 weeks per year. It does not have to be consecutive weeks.
  • "special accommodations" - this is any accommodation you think will help you to be able to continue doing your job. A doctor's note citing it in detail will hold a lot of weight in your argument with an employer to get any special accommodation you need.
  • "assistive technology" - this is any device that will help you to perform your duties. It can be provided by the company or you. You have a better change of providing it for yourself and getting it put in writing that you need to be able to use this assistance to perform your duties. (example: a wheelchair for distance, a personal tape recorder for notes, a computer/laptop/tablet to document phases of your work day, any device that will help you do your job).

Multiple Sclerosis and Employment

At Interview

Do you think an applicant should tell the employer during interview process that they have a neurological disease like MS?

See results without voting
Hospital Emergency Room Entrance
Hospital Emergency Room Entrance | Source

My Decision to Tell

One of my employers to whom I confided my disability was a fairly large and busy hospital (over 400 beds) and I worked 7PM - 7AM in Emergency Room.

I never disclosed during the interview process that I had MS. I didn't see it as necessary, as I had been in remission for many years.

For the first 13 years of my employment, I was in remission and without incident or absence. The last five years I was employed there, there was a big change in hospital administration, law mandated changes in medical regulations, and a big escalation of drug usage in the inner city, which in turn dictated the volume and types of patients that came into the Emergency Room.

To say I had a lot of stress going on was an understatement.

I found I was taking more medical leave and struggling to be able to work a full 40+ hour schedule. The added stress made my MS become more noticeable to other people. The more stress I was under, the more prominent my symptoms (word fishing, fatigue, tremor, etc).

Up until that time, the only people in my workplace who knew my diagnosis were my neurologist (who was on staff at this hospital), his office staff, and one co-worker who worked my shift. We became good friends before she was told about my diagnosis, and even better friends after she was told.

It was important to me that at least one "friend" in my workplace knew what was going on with me, in case something happened to me on shift. I could count on that one person to speak for me if I wasn't able and who could notify my neuro doc ASAP.

Tell or Not Tell Employer?

If signs/symptoms become obvious, should someone with Multiple Sclerosis who is still employed reveal it to their employer?

See results without voting

Would You Tell Your Employer?

So there are two questions here:

1) If someone has had Multiple Sclerosis for some time, but it is in remission, should they share it with their employer?

2) If during the term of their employment, someone is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, should they share that with the employer?

In all reality, it depends on the person with MS, their present employment and/or what type of employment they are seeking. Obviously if you are a brain surgeon, the answers to the above questions would be different from, say, if you are a secretary or a cashier in a department store.

If the MS'er is relatively asymptomatic (no outward symptoms), why upset the applecart by telling the employer? If you do not need special accommodations to stay employable in the current position, it really would serve no purpose to tell.

If you left that employer to apply to another employer, they are only supposed to verify your employment dates. But people do talk. If you shared that you have MS (or any other disease for that matter) and never needed accommodation, it is possible that the prospective employer will be told during the conversation.

I'm not saying it will definitely happen, but it may. If it does, now your prospective employer knows about your MS, even though you are still without symptoms and in no need of accommodation. In this way, you can possibly be overlooked for the new position.

But if an MS'er is exhibiting signs and symptoms that require special accommodations (i.e. an assistive device, a specialized work schedule, perhaps another employee to help them perform their duties), and they want to keep their job, it might be in their best interests to tell the employer and ask for the appropriate accommodations.

If you don't want it repeated on Facebook, don't tell that person in the first place.  Choose your friends (confidantes) wisely.
If you don't want it repeated on Facebook, don't tell that person in the first place. Choose your friends (confidantes) wisely. | Source
Source

Should You Tell A Co-Worker?

Should you confide in a co-worker in the event something does happen to you on the job?

I think it depends on how well you know the co-worker, the kind of relationship/friendship you already have with them, and if there can be an understanding that you are not sharing this with the employer yet and you are confiding your diagnosis to them alone.

Explain that you are essentially putting your life and diagnosis in their hands for a future time when you are not able to speak for yourself or become ill on the job, trusting they will act in your best interests.

Keep in mind that sometimes a secret can alter the status of a friendship or a work relationship. As one co-worker friend of mine learned, if you are Facebook friends outside of the workplace, it might be best to err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself.

Putting someone on speed dial might be the better choice.

Easy Explanation of ADA

Reasonable accommodation has to be agreed upon

Reasonable Accommodation is your right
Reasonable Accommodation is your right | Source

Reasonable Accommodations

Now we get into the tricky part where employers usually finagle any way they can to get out of providing special accommodations to an employee to help them to retain their job.

As much as we hear that workplace discrimination is a thing of the past, be assured that it is alive and still kicking in many workplaces in this country and abroad.

An employee who is disabled has to be recognized (labelled) as a qualified (or a qualifying) individual with a disability in order to be considered for any workplace accommodation. That can be a double edged sword.

"Qualifying individual" means one needs to provide proof of the disability and to be able to perform the duties of the job with or without any accommodations. (If one could perform the job without accommodation, one would not be asking for the accommodation!) However, there is a way to get around this argument posed by any employer.

If you had this disability at time of hire and were qualified to be hired for this position, and to perform the duties before you revealed you had any kind of disability, and your performance was not in question up until that date, you have now nipped the employer's argument in the bud because they wouldn't have hired you if you weren't qualified.

Because you now have revealed that you've been disabled all along, have you suddenly become "unqualified" for the position?

The employer needs to prove this - it is his burden of proof. There is one ace in the hole an employer bring out to win this argument.

It is called "direct threat".

Every workplace has to have ADA Compliance manuals. Ask to see them

Compliance Manuals for Americans With Disabilities
Compliance Manuals for Americans With Disabilities | Source

Please do not copy this article.

This means if you DO copy, a DMCA notice of copyright infringement will be filed against you.
This means if you DO copy, a DMCA notice of copyright infringement will be filed against you. | Source

Direct Threat - explained by awordlover

"Direct threat" is a term any employer can use if he feels that you pose a direct threat to his other employees, the operation of his business, the people with whom you come into contact in the performance of your duties, and ancillary staff (people around you that you do not have daily contact with but still interact with at some point during the work day - on telephone, for example).

The employer has to prove you are the direct threat and when you pursue getting your ADA accommodations, he has to itemize it - in writing - as it pertains to you in your particular job description.

Every disabled employee has rights in the workplace. Getting an employer to acknowledge those rights is probably the hardest thing to do using the ADA laws.

Depending on the disability, depending on whether the employee wants to remain employed in that position, and depending on what requested accommodations the employer is willing to provide in order for the employee to do their job, each disabled employee has to decide if it is even worth it to remain employed, or just to quit and either find other employment or go on government disability.

To get around disrupting their workplace or providing accommodations, many employers will play the job substitution game (offering another position, usually lower on the totem pole) and it usually doesn't work out in the best interests of the employee in the long run.

If the employer is offering you a lower status position (most likely with less pay), you need to decide if that is what you want. I, myself, refused to take a lesser position in healthcare until it was proven to me that I was a direct threat to patient care OR until I felt that the schedule in my present position was impossible for me to maintain.

Employers will play the "demotion" game, and it is only a matter of time before you are out the door. They will tell the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that they did everything they could to keep you employed, even putting you in lower positions within the company and they just could not keep you on staff.

This is against the law. You cannot and should not be fired because you have a disability or because an employer feels (without proof) you are a direct threat to patient care or his other employees. But IT DOES HAPPEN. And because the disabled employee doesn't know any better, they leave the employment. Some do it kicking and screaming; others just leave quietly. Unless you are borderline bedridden, there is always something in a company you can do, even if it is just answering phones or answering call lights in a medical facility, you are still a viable employee.

On the other hand, if you, as the employee, ask for lower positions within the company in order to stay employed, you need to do everything within your power to make sure you are at the top of your game. That means knowing the new position inside out, making yourself indispensable, and not miss time from work so that your time slot becomes cumbersome to fill with another temporary employee.

If an employer makes the workplace difficult for you to stay employed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should be your best friend. Forget the Labor Board, forget the union you belong to, forget the president of the company even if he is your best friend's husband. You need someone who has legal standing in the community, who will stand up for your rights as a disabled person.

If you don't care one way or the other and are content to leave your job, then leave. If you like your job and your employer makes your work life difficult, then call the EEOC.

Americans With Disabilities Act

There was no honored HIPAA with my employer during the time period I refer to above (the law that protects sharing your personal information and/or patient information) to safeguard your privacy. In my hospital workplace, HIPAA pertained to patients only.

Any disabled employee who made personal requests for special accommodation would soon be the talk of the cafeteria and everyone would know the reason why. To be considered disabled in any job, most people likened it to someone with mental retardation, loss of limbs, etc. If they couldn't see what was wrong with you, you had to prove what was wrong with you.

The 1973 Americans With Disabilities Act was a piece of paper with words on it -almost worthless - in many instances, it was never actively enforced in many workplaces.

President George Bush Sr signed an updated law in 1990 which would not go fully into effect until President Bill Clinton's Administration in 1992.

The part of the 1973 Americans With Disabilities Act that employers fell back on was so vague that many employees could not fight - and win - in discrimination lawsuits.

To paraphrase, it said that if any accommodations provided to a qualified disabled employee imposed any undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business, then they did not have to provide the accommodation or even retain the employee.

The second part of the 1973 Americans With Disabilities Act that employers utilized in many cases was, again paraphrasing - if the employee posed a direct threat to the health and safety of others that otherwise could not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation, the employee could be terminated.

There literally was no way for you, as an employee, to fight an employer who insisted you were a direct threat (to the safety and welfare of patients). It was your word against theirs.

And that's where I got tripped up. It was early in the year 1990, the new laws were not even signed into law yet and the words "direct threat" and "undue hardship" were being used against me at the hospital where I was employed.

Assistive Technology - suggested by awordlover

If you work in a position where an assistive device or several devices would enable you to be able to continue doing your job, it is up to you to come forth with the suggestion and as much literature as you can provide to them. Do the leg work for the employer so he doesn't have the opportunity to say he doesn't have time to investigate or he couldn't find anything that was a good fit for the situation.

Employers will not go out of their way to find a way or a device to allow you to stay on as their employee. You are just as easy to replace with another, possibly lower maintenance (and lower salaried) employee.

It is to your benefit to be aware of assistive devices that are available which will help you retain your job and even after you inform your employer about the availability, there is no law that says the employer has to buy it for you to use.

If it is a device that other employees can potentially use (now or in the future, if the employer knows of other employees with similar disability), you may be able to coerce the employer to pay for it.

However, waiting for that to happen can be a long process - months to years. It might be in your best interests to purchase the item and start using it at work (after notification to employer) and then approach the employer for reimbursement.

But don't hold your breath on that score either. You have a better chance of getting reimbursed or having financial assistance from the government than you do with a private employer.

In my case, I needed to use a wheelchair toward the last four hours of my hospital shift when the fatigue was overwhelming. My employer felt that it wasn't proper for patients to see me in a wheelchair because it did not inspire patient confidence.

In other words, my employer felt that patients would think I would drop them, injure or hurt them in some way because of my visible "infirmity."

Because wheelchairs were readily available in my workplace, the employer had nothing to purchase. So the employer attacked me from a different angle.

When it was put to me that I was not permitted to use a hospital wheelchair, I brought my own from home, along with a required doctor's note allowing me to use it during my shift for fatigue. Battle won.

For over 18 years, I used my own tape recorder for notes. When the employer argued that my speaking into it violated patient confidentiality because I could be overheard while I was recording names, room numbers, and medication and treatment plans, I asked for an assistive device in the form of a laptop.

Of course, it was denied but my tape recorder was no longer permitted either. I went back to using a small steno pad as I had in the 1970s and 1980s, and assigned a page to each patient for later recording in charts.

It was 1990 and I was too tired to fight it out with the employer for ways to allow me to perform my job duties. I filed a grievance with the EEOC and prepared myself for a long wait for the case to be settled. EEOC cases can go seven to fifteen years waiting to be negotiated or settled. More than fifteen years later, in my 2006 lawsuit settlement against the hospital employer (yes, it took that long!), I was granted permission to use a tape recorder. By that time, I was no longer employed there and had moved on to another employer - a nursing home. A very small victory which came too late, but a victory that was now in place for other similarly disabled employees.

1/31/2014 - Update by Rachael O'Halloran - a second ADA discrimination charge filed in 2007 against an employer reached a financial settlement in December 2013, which will go to the estate of awordlover.

Assistive Technology can go a long way to helping you keep your job.
Assistive Technology can go a long way to helping you keep your job. | Source

Offer of another positon

Do you think a disabled employee should be offered a lower position by employer to remain employed when employer doesn't want to provide requested accommodations to stay in present position?

See results without voting

Job Substitution - awordlover's personal experience

As part of my ongoing pursuit to be able to keep my job at the hospital, I asked for a specialized work schedule and another employee as a helper. They denied this, so I included this in my formal complaint with the EEOC. Employers don't like formal complaints against them.

Before it got to the hearing stage, I was provided with a special work schedule that included frequent breaks for me to be able to complete my 12 hour shift. I was also provided with a helper - someone to help me with patient examination (for example, performing range of motion and strength tests, etc.) and help with organizing patient notes for charting. That was all I needed at the time.

After six months or so, I was no longer able to put in 12 hour shifts and needed to work 6 to 8 hour shifts, while still keeping my "special accommodation" helper.

As usually happens when another employee becomes your "special accommodation" and when your hours are tailor-made, an employer will begin a fault-finding mission - with your performance, with the "waste" of an employee to help you, and/or with the specialized work schedule that may become a monkey wrench when trying to schedule time for other employee vacations and personal time off.

Within three months, I was offered the absolute lowest position in the department - as a Nursing Assistant (at that time certification was not necessary) - with a sizable pay cut, down to less than $10 per hour. My hours were cut to 20 to 25 hours per week but the worse part of all was that I was moved off the 11pm night shift.

I could live with the cut in hours, but the pay cut and work schedule was a bitter pill. Day shift is the busiest shift in most medical institutions. It was also the most tiring for me so that early on in my career, I quickly learned that the 11pm to 7am shift would be more suitable.

With the new Nursing Assistant position, the employer wanted me to report to work 7AM to 3PM, work four days on, one day off, three days on, two days off, three days on, one day off - out of every two weeks. There was a "reason" I worked 11pm to 7am!! Because that is when I felt the best.

I lasted one week on this schedule and voluntarily went out on medical leave (FMLA) for three weeks.

Returning to Work With Special Accommodations

If you return to work after being out on leave, it is important to make sure you return with a doctor's note quoting chapter and verse what accommodations you require to be able to do your job and any physical limitations you may have.

After three weeks, I returned to work with a doctor's note stating that I had several job limitations which were: no heavy lifting (a must for a Nursing Assistant), to take frequent breaks (10 minutes out of every two hours) and to work no more than 20 to 30 hours a week on a mutually acceptable shift.

The note also stated that I had to have every other day off - no working two consecutive days in a row. If you know anything about what Nursing Assistants do physically, then you know they are the work horses of the medical field. It had gotten to the point that after one nursing shift at the hospital, the next day I was practically immobile.

Applying for Social Security Disability - awordlover's personal experience

As you may already know, fine motor skills become compromised when you have MS and I was no different.

For the last five years of employment at a nursing home, my skills were not as reliable as they once had been and I was the first to recognize that so I would not endanger patients. Asking for help is the logical path to follow, but my employer felt that demotion was the better path.

In truth, I really didn't mind taking lower positions in order to be able to continue working. I just did not want to concede that I was worthless.

But the nursing home administrator decided to find ways to keep me off duty and ultimately out of the facility.

One day she refused me access to the building stating that there was no work for me that day. On another occasion, my hours were cancelled due to over-scheduling. Many times I had been written up for some complaint by an unnamed patient; patient's names were never revealed so you couldn't retaliate or ask them questions. Once you are written up, you were suspended for anywhere from three days to as long as a month, pending a hearing with the union and management.

I had applied for Social Security Disability a number of times over five years, each time being told that I qualified medically, however 1) that I did not have enough working quarters earned to qualify because of the timing of my medical leaves over the previous ten years, and 2) that I had not sought the appropriate reasonable accommodation from my employer to remain on staff.

In the US, to qualify for Social Security Disability, you must work five out of your LAST ten years of employment, except they measure it in quarters. It doesn't have to be five consecutive years, and it doesn't have to be with one employer, it just has to be five years of time over the ten year period.

I explained that getting my employer to provide any accommodation (reasonable or otherwise) was the problem. I was told it was out of their hands and I was repeatedly denied approval. As long as I fought to continue to be employed there, and as long as I did not have five years of employment in the last ten years, I would not be approved.

Now I literally had to get to work for the required five working years. After all the numbers were in, I had 12 quarters to complete, and that meant using NO medical leave. With some physical sacrifice on my part and some creative scheduling, I was able to get the hours I needed to complete the remaining quarters.

Emergency Room Desk
Emergency Room Desk | Source

Job Termination

In 1990, upon return to work at the hospital after a medical leave with my doctor's note in hand, I was abruptly terminated before I could even take off my coat. I applied for Unemployment Compensation and was denied. I then sued the employer for workplace discrimination. I worked five years part time in private duty nursing because I couldn't work full time. For all my efforts, I racked up about 4 quarters which equaled one year in Social Security requirements.

I fought my hospital employer for seven years from 1990 to 1997.

In 1997, I won my court case against the hospital for seven years of full time back wages plus a flat $50,000 of which the lawyer got 33%. It was not a good settlement. My EEOC grievance would not be settled for another six years.

During the last few months before the 1997 settlement, I had to have a hysterectomy and that put me in a MS flare for almost two years afterward.

As a side effect of one of the experimental treatments I had for my Multiple Sclerosis in 1977, I ended up with a recurring brain tumor which gets reduced periodically with surgery. It is kept in check with steroids, but MS flares make it grow. Eventually it will become inoperable and I may lose some functions like vision, speech or walking.

At this point, I couldn't go to work if I wanted to; one look at me and the employer would think I should be a patient in their facility, not an employee. But I wasn't really qualified to do any other kind of work except health care. I could type but I couldn't sit for long periods. I could walk but not far distances. I could walk, talk and chew gum at the same time, but not two days in a row because of fatigue. lol

Social Security Card
Social Security Card | Source

Disclosure by awordlover

From 1997 to 2000, I decided that the best thing was to get well enough to return to work, take some refresher courses to remain certified and hopefully get decent hours so that my work schedule wouldn't become overtaxing. In 2000, I went to work as a Nursing Assistant for a nursing home not far from my home. This was to be my last employer.

Social Security said I needed five full time years of employment to qualify for Social Security Disability. To satisfy their requirement, I worked part time hours for 8 years to get enough quarters. It was a struggle to keep this job when the nursing home administrator wanted me out the door so bad she could taste it. With getting and keeping accommodations, dealing with MS flares, brain tumor surgeries, I tried to use as little precious FMLA time. I finally had enough quarters in 2008 to qualify and be approved for SSDI.

While on SSDI, one is permitted to earn up to $5,000 per year if one is able to work at all. In those first years, I did work part time for a few months out of the year but the disease and brain tumor won in the end.

In 2009, the brain tumor tripled in size and thus began a cycle of surgeries every year to eighteen months of having the tumor reduced. The brain tumor was a side effect of a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis that was "tried" in 1977. In the first years, I needed surgery often. But with steroids, the growth had slowed down. By 2009, the tumor started to become resistant to steroids. In 2011, I had 4 surgeries to reduce it. In 2012, I had 5 surgeries. The tumor seemed to gain momentum with each surgery.

At this writing in April 2013, the tumor is so large that it can no longer be reduced. My vision is severely compromised so that in chat I use all caps and in my hubs I used a magnifier screen to be able to see this print. It will only be a matter of time before the tumor takes all my vision and my ability to walk.

I have a few friends who have offered to help me with my computer projects and I will most likely take them up on their offers. Giving up or giving in is not my strong suit.


Final thoughts with awordlover

In 2007, my hospital employer (from back in 1990) now by law must provide all nursing staff and physicians with a micro-tape recorder and strategically stationed computers in hallways which can be accessed with their own password. This was a government mandate to all medical facilities so that this employer absolutely had to provide this for all employees, disabled or not.

In 2010, the American with Disabilities Act was updated yet again making it a much more user-friendly law for people with disabilities to navigate. It has cut down on the number of employee/employer lawsuits and workplace discrimination.

I only wish it had come much sooner for me but I am glad that it is in place for all those who follow me.

My EEOC case with the nursing home, my last employer, is still pending. I call periodically to see if there is any progress and I am reminded that my last case took many years and that this case will likely take as long. But I refuse to cancel the grievance; I will stay the course so that the nursing home has to come into compliance with ADA laws and their treatment of disabled employees.


© 2011, 2012, 2013 Anne DiGeorge

Note: awordlover's estate

Update May 30, 2013 by Rachael O'Halloran

Anne DiGeorge -awordlover - passed away May 23, 2013 from a brain tumor. The brain tumor was caused by an experimental treatment for MS in 1977. Multiple Sclerosis was not considered a cause of death on her death certificate. She will be missed by many.

Update June 3, 2013, awordlover's husband asked two of awordlover's writing friends to help him with her various writing endeavors which include fulfilling publishing contracts on four books over the next two years, moderating health forums on several websites and maintaining her HubPages account. This account will be moderated by Rachael O'Halloran and Fiona Powers.

Update January 2013 - Rachael O'Halloran is the sole moderator of awordlover's hubs.

EEOC Settlement

Update 12/10/2013 - by Rachael O'Halloran: On December 1, 2013 a letter from the EEOC including a check sent to the estate of Anne DiGeorge (deceased 5/23/2013) in settlement of her 2008 lawsuit against a Pennsylvania nursing home which was her last employer. The settlement agreement states that

1) any disabled employee who needs to take 10 minute breaks during shift can take as many as needed as long as the employee's patients are covered by another worker.

2) any disabled employee who needs another staff worker to help perform their job duties shall be given an assistant for as long as the disabled employee has need.

3) any disabled employee will be retained in their position until it is proven by consults with three independent physicians that the disabled employee can no longer perform their duties, at which time another position will be offered within the scope of the employee's qualifications.

4) any disabled employee will not forfeit or be cancelled on health insurance or other benefits.

This is a victory for other employees, because in Anne DiGeorge's last position, there were nine other employees who also had autoimmune diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and Lupus. All lost their health benefits during the time of their FMLA and several were fired from the nursing home for excessive use of FMLA time (more than 12 weeks). Their cases are still pending with the EEOC. This settlement sets a precedent for all disabled employees.

Copying is stealing

Do Not Copy
Do Not Copy | Source

2/2/2014

Update from Rachael O'Halloran - If you copied this article, you stole it.

If you see the information in this hub somewhere else, please leave a comment with the name of the website and the URL address.

This hub has been stolen from awordlover by 7 different websites that I have been able to locate so far. They not only copied the content, they left awordlover's name on the article including all her personal notes that are weaved into her hubs. It is not alright to copy something just because it is on the internet.

A copyright infringement notice (DMCA) has been filed against 4 of those websites because they refused to remove this article from their sites. Giving awordlover an author credit is not acceptable. Giving author credit is when you paraphrase, not when you are copying word for word. The estate of awordlover is not willing to accept author credit when the full hub article appears on other websites.

The other 3 websites either have removed or have answered that they will remove this article from their websites within 7 days.

If any reader thinks it is okay to copy articles word for word which have an author's name on it, think again. This is stealing. There have been some comments left which attacked me for putting Copyscape logos at the beginning and end of awordlover's hubs. I was advised to do that to deter more from copying awordlover's hubs.

One reader left a comment saying with all the threatening Do Not Copy photos that she wouldn't trust a single bit of advice on any of the hubs. She concluded by saying she reported the hubs.

That's too bad because awordlover has many good hubs with over 110,000 views and nearly 500 comments.

Readers who have no intention of stealing the work in the first place leave very nice comments nicely and also share the hubs. I don't really care nor do I have time for any reader who has a problem with the Copyscape logos.

As long as I am moderating awordlover's hubs, I will continue to file copyright infringement notices on her behalf against all parties who steal from awordlover.hubpages.com.

Posted 2/2/2014 by Rachael O'Halloran for awordlover

© 2012 awordlover

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Comments 7 comments

Dahlia Flower profile image

Dahlia Flower 4 years ago from Canada

Thank you for sharing this information -- as personal as it was and as difficult as your journey has been. I'm glad you were able to get through enough quarters of part-time work to meet the requirements. I enjoyed your humor, too, about walking, talking, chewing gum but not two days in a row. Voting way up.


awordlover profile image

awordlover 4 years ago Author

Hello Dahlia Flower, Humor helps one get through the tuff times. lol...Thank you so much for your comment and votes.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I applaud you for your courage and your willingness to fight an obvious injustice. I was married to a woman with MS; I know firsthand (well, secondhand) the battles that are fought daily.

You have not had it easy by any means but you still fight and still move forward. This is a beautiful story of your insistence on being treated with respect and dignity and I am honored to follow you.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Wow! That's some battle. I do know how employers try to skirt laws and avoid cooperating on any way. What's really awful is that this is being done IN the Heath care field. If anything THOSE people should know better!! I often wonder when I hear stuff like this - how the people that make things hard would feel if you were their daughter or sister or wife? Is that was has to happen for people to wake up??

Excellent hub - info and writing:)


awordlover profile image

awordlover 4 years ago Author

Hello Real Housewife:

Just when I thought things were changing for the better in the healthcare field with regard to this topic, I received an email from a former coworker who had a hysterectomy and asked for light duty for a few weeks upon her return to work. She is an RN in a Progressive Care Unit. She was denied, so she worked one day and went out on another 6 weeks of FMLA. When I told her to pursue it, that they HAVE to give her light duty with a doctor's note (and knowing how shorthanded nursing field is), she said it wasn't worth the aggravation to her, that she would just stay out on leave.

I don't blame her at all. After surgery and the stress of a hysterectomy, dealing with this type of situation with an employer is the last thing she needs.

But it this kind of attitude that makes employers believe they can get away with denying employees their rights. To her, she could afford to stay home for a few more weeks and get the rest and healing she needed, but to someone else who was in a "disease" type of situation (as opposed to surgical disability), this sets us back years.

Thank you for your comment and visit. I wish some employers would come by this hub, read and leave me their point of view, because I sure don't get it. lol


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

I'm so sorry that you've had these horrible employment experiences. You would think that working in the medical profession would provide a better working environment for understanding medical disabilities. How sad that this is not the case. Very informative article and voted up.


awordlover profile image

awordlover 2 years ago Author

Her lawsuit brought about the changes she was fighting for. Thank you for voting up this hub.

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