Friday, July 3, 2009

Migraine Layoff?

I wasn't going to talk much about the latest round of layoffs my company just completed and just stay grateful that I still have my job, which I am. There are several that bother me, but one I want to focus on now. I understand the layoffs are due to the economy and that these types of cuts are hard for everyone.

My position is held by four people; one in each division around the country. It's not as big of a position as it might sound, but I feel it is an integral part in the daily operations for each division as we manage a unique group of talented people that interface with both internal and external customers of all levels.

Well, one of the four of us, Emily, was part of these layoffs. I know we were/are all vulnerable to the layoffs and Emily always seemed very capable. They did stress all along that these layoffs have nothing to do with job performance or competence, but are all areas that could be right sized.

It's taken me a little while to figure out part of what is really bothering me about her layoff. Emily is a Migraineur. To me, she was always strong enough to stay home when she did not feel well enough to go to work, then she would work from home after she started feeling better that day. My employer definitely knows I have Migraines as they have made workplace accommodations for me, but I am still hesitant to call out sick even when I know I should.

I've been doing a lot of reading when I can including Megan Oltman's articles on MyMigraineConnection where she has posts on working rights which includes topics on FMLA, ADA, HIPPA, accommodations, etc. I know Emily couldn't be legally discriminated against for her Migraines when the lay off happened, but it can also be very difficult to prove in the midst of all of these layoffs. I don't know the extent of all of the layoffs that went on in her division yet, but our division was hit pretty hard. Why would her division not deem our position necessary any longer while the other three divisions feel it is still essential? Could it be Migraine related? Just me thinking out loud again.

I know there are some things I do right with my Migraines, but I have never treated myself the way I should in terms of taking quiet time when I need it. I don't know for sure if that's why Emily was let go and never will. In the meantime, I know I will continue to try to find my balance between taking the down time I need and my struggle at work while I try my best to stay employed.

I will stay aggressive with my doctor in trying to get better control of my Migraines so this is not such a big issue. It would also be helpful if it would stop raining almost everyday. The weather is on my list to talk to my doctor about during my next visit too.


Jasmine said...

I can't blame you for wondering if Emily was laid off because of her migraines. I know from experience I was treated differently once the company knew about my health issues, but I wasn't let go; I left on my own.

Between the two of you, who worked for the company longer?

MigrainePuppet said...

I still worry about Emily and the others. I've been with the company longer than her. I don't know Emily's boss that well, but from what she has said, I don't think he is as understanding as by boss.

However, I still do get nervous taking off and not taking off time due to Migraines. I know I am not functioning as I should in the midst of a Migraine.

Candice said...

I was under FMLA with my company. They said that they would not count that against me. My department had a huge sales goal for each one of us. They refused to lower my sales goal to take into account the days I would miss due to my Migraines on FMLA. I was finding it very hard to make my sales goals do to having to work less hours when sick out with a Migraine. I had been with the company the longest and was getting paid the most I'm sure. Well long story short the said the were 'eliminating' MY position due to the economy.I had been written up once for not making my sales goal [while under FMLA], they said that made me not on good standing with the company so that's why they Layed me off.I really think they just didn't like the fact that I had to take FMLA, there where other employees that were having a hard time making there goals too. :[