Information On Ada And A Success Story

I just want to let people know that the American with Disability Act (ADA) is a possible option for people who work in America and who feel DSPS is negatively affecting their work performance.
The following websites provides a lot of information on the ADA- don't think it copied as a link but those are some of the the addresses:
1) You probably do not need to consult with a lawyer to make an initial request with your employer. If you have a question ask the EEOC they have many experts and will answer many questions for free.
2) ADA title one applies to employers with 15 or more employees. One must have a disability- a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such impairment or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

3) The individual must request an accommodation by letting the employer know the individual needs an adjustment or change at work for a reason related to a medical condition. A person only needs to use plain English.
4) If the condition is not obvious, which here it will not be, the employer may ask the employee for reasonable documentation. What is reasonable is open for debate. Obviously, a doctor prescribing you with the condition is one of the most effective ways to do this. Many doctors will do this now a days. Prescriptions for sleeping pills are also good. Basically any way you can show your employer that you do suffer from this disability.
5) I would also bring literature showing that DSPS is in fact a recognized disability by many in the medical community.
6) Your accommodation must be reasonable and this will be fact specific based on your work.
7) The employer can reasonably deny the request if he can show undue hardship. Again fact specific to your work.
8) Browse the government website as their is a ton of information on it that will probably answer most questions. Contact the EEOC if you have further questions.

I always knew there was something about my biology that caused me to have different sleep patterns than most people. About 2 years ago I self diagnosed that I had DSPS. 6 months ago I was talking to a friend about it and complaining that there is no reason why my job should require me to get there by 9. He asked if I had thought about whether the ADA would apply and I told him that never crossed my mind. I went home and looked at it and was amazed at how well it did apply. I felt that if I could get my doctor to diagnose me with it there would be no way my work could not let me arrive latter. I work for a title company which is obviously an office environment. Luckily my doctor pretty much diagnosed me with it. She said though she is not a sleep disorder specialist she finds it highly probable that I do in fact suffer from DSPS.
I took this diagnosis and some literature from Wikipedia and a Science Journal article describing the disability. I also took a letter requesting that my hours be changed to 1pm to 9pm. I explained that the company will not experience any undue hardship and in fact the company will probably benefit because my work product will increase. The 4 hours of time that I will overlap with others is more than enough time for them to ask me any work related issues. I also agreed to never turn my work ringer off and if someone had an emergency that needed my attention before 1pm they could get a hold of me.
The next day he called me in his office and said that he would allow me to work 1pm to 9pm. A week after that he sent an e-mail to everyone saying anybody in the office can choose any 8 hour block between 7am and 9pm. In the 3 months since then everyone agrees that the company has improved. People's attitudes are better and work quality and quantity have improved. I never understood why so many companies mandate specific hours even though technology does not require it. There has been a slow move away from this and IMO this will continue to happen.
Sorry for the length. I just wanted to let people know that the ADA can apply to DSPS and people should look into whether it applies to their situation. I also think Title 2 could apply to parents who have kids in school who suffer from DSPS but that is a whole different Title # of the ADA. The science continues to back up the claim that DSPS is a disability (for lack of a better word it will probably be beneficial for society to have people working at different times). The laws are in place for immediate change to happen as long as people view it as a disability. Educating the general public is very important.

klumposaurus klumposaurus
2 Responses Jan 16, 2013

I am so thankful to find this. This is what's happening to me:

I worked 6pm - 6am for 4 years since starting at my company. I am a professional in the tech field. I left to pursue my BS in Engineering, and returned in 2010.

Though I was told I'd return to my night shift, I was pulled into days last minute. Since the first month, I have been asking to be put on night shift. My boss has repeatedly promised to do so, even dates by which it'd happen - and it never did, 3 years now.

Well, I just got a negative performance review due to things such as 'excessive sick time usage' and 'tardiness' (there were a few days, like 2 this year, where I overslept. I hate it.) So I feel rather betrayed. I've done everything, damaging my health in the process, to support the company whilst they arrange for my transfer. However, my manager has dragged his feet and lost my opportunity to fill a position. The only hardship he'd experience would be having to hire someone else - instead of the night manager.

I've been talking to lawyers, so this was a question of mine (ADA acknowledgement/EEOC)

Thank you!

Thank you for the information. Very informative and helpful.