Epilepsy Community
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Avatar universal

Anybody have employment problems w/epilepsy

I've had a job for the same company for 10 yrs.  It is with heavy equipment overhead and involves a fair amount of driving.  I've had 2 grande mal seizures and no license til mar 09, and though my company does have work that I do often that doesn't involve driving, I get the feeling I'm being overlooked.  Not sure how many people on here are guys who have a family to support, but even just testing the waters with resume, nobody seems to want a person w/seizure activity.  My company hasn't fired me, but I get the feeling they wish I would forget I ever worked there.  I guess this is just more of a rant, but I've been told that I have to disclose epilepsy no matter where I work, especially in my line of work.  Any groups or ideas in this aspect?
10 Responses
505751 tn?1225032462
Try going to the Epilepsy Foundation site and check out this address: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/living/wellness/employment/livingjobs.cfm
I hope this will help. This is for the US so not sure how much it will help you if you are Canadian. I am sure Canada has its own Epilepsy Foundation.
Good luck.
697386 tn?1241026555
I am a mom of two teens, with a husband who works hard, i have had jobs, but when my sz came back and i had to quit my job b/c of other reasons.. i now.. cannot find employment..
If i have to disclose to them verbally if asked health questions, or write it down on the app if asked, any prospective employers suddenly remember the position is filled..
I live in the "styx" so not to many available jobs, except gas station, or convienience store, to which i cannot work b/c i cannot work alone..
to add to the situation, my husband makes seriously 102/year to much for me to qualify for gov. help..
with increasing med costs, and living costs, we get farther and farther behind..
Avatar universal

I thought I'd respond by writing, since "I worked for 31 1/2 years with Honeywell in their Punch Press Blanking and Forming Departments."  I made it a point to establish a dialogue with my supervisor, union, and company medical departments on site nurse.

I was honest and told them about what would happen if I had a seizure and if I did, "what not to do."  It worked out quite well, even though I often had to work a little harder to prove my capabilities amidst their speculative thought of "me getting hurt."

I worked on 75 and 250 ton forming presses, 50-75 ton job shop blanking presses, 150 ton blanking line with two 250 ton presses, lytells, and multi-slides-which ran by setting the dies sideways or vertical.

One of the reasons I can relate to this is that I was a charter member of Honeywell's Council of Employee's with Disabilities and served two terms as president. More importantly, "I became Honeywell's Corporate Representative to The Employer Committee of The President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities for 3 1/2 years."

We traveled and communicated throughout America with businesses of all sizes on how to hire, maintain, treat, and understand factors of reasonable accommodation in relation to The Americans with Disabilities Act.

Almost all employers are going to be concerned about ones safety, but "if you have the job qualifications and are strong enough to begin a dialogue, most always you'll be given a chance to pursue that goal; as employment is a two way street between employer and employee."

If I can help you further, please ask.

Kay Kramer
Avatar universal
I have a daughter who has lost more than a few positions because of her epilepsy. Seems that stress increases seizure activity, also fatigue can bring them on.
Employers can be "scared off by epilepsy.
482325 tn?1210578538
I retired on disability in 2003 and have only worked for the Federal Government so I don't have knowledge of Private Industry employment.  I know that a company cannot discriminate because of your epilepsy, but they can hide their reason for not letting you work by naming it something else.

I worked for the IRS, the U.S. Marshalls and the U.S. Postal Service, 25 years with the government.  Had no problems with the first 2 but the Post Office drove me a little crazy.  I agree with Okano in that most employers can be scared off by our ailment.  If you are a Federal Employee though, they cannot fire you just because you are ill.

Good Luck - my prayers are with you.

Avatar universal
I sure wouldnt mind if I was being discriminated against because of my seizure history. I'd love to slap a company with a law suit.. $$$$
697386 tn?1241026555
Problem with that is, it's extremely difficult to 'prove'..
Avatar universal
I did the same thing as irvkay. I told people I work with so that they can understand what epilepsy is and how to handle seizures. I'm a college student and I work in Best Buy. Regardless of where I work I'm luck that my employees are very accepting, understanding, and supportive. People of all ages, high school to 60 yr olds, work there. I was surprised at how many people didn't know what epilepsy is. We look out for each other. There is a woman who is diabetic and we all know the symptoms incase something happens, because it has before. We're always there for her and buy her a drink or snack if it'll help her. Informing them will help ease their concerns. Be responsibly to manage your seizures best you can. If you feel your being overlooked, try turning that into determination. Prove your strengths and that your are an excellent employee regardless of your health. Hopefully things will turn around for you.
697386 tn?1241026555
Proving myself, and all is easy if anyone in this itty bitty town would actually hire me, (most of which know already due to one of their family members being on emergancy team in town here.  
Of the 6-7 places to work, 4 of them only require 1 employee at a time, I would be to big of a liability.. I understand this.. Don't make it any easier..
And at this point, I have not driven a car since mid Dec.. don't know when I'll be able to again either.. and ppl at gov place, said my hubby makes $102 a YEAR to much to qualify for assistance, they never take into account, the cost of drs, meds blah blah..
sux @$$..
772208 tn?1235193204
i have never had issues like that. my seizures are usually in the middle of the night. I wake up and bam, im seizing, But when i have one i cant work the next day as i am too sick, exhausted, and have an extreme migraine
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