What your company is doing to you, is what my employer did to me. I was employed in the technology dept., which supposedly is the best field to work in, an area which should employ educated people. It is interesting that you are receiving the same type treatment I did. If you file a complaint with the EEOC it sounds like your superiors will fire you. If they fire you, THEN file with the EEOC and sue. It is the troublemakers around you that created this problem. You need to start watching them and your superiors. Where I used to work, I would tell the troublemakers to quit fighting. I wondered why management wouldn't control them, then I found out management was too busy threatening to sue each other to care about what went on in the workplace. You need to start pointing the finger. Believe me, that is what my co-workers used to do. And as far a lying, don't worry about it. My bosses used to come up with some whopper lies to protect their jobs. (Anytime they were caught at it they would go hide in their office and have screaming fits.) I'll give you a couple of pointers. My ex-boss would use the old "he's sleeping with her, that's why you are persecuting me" excuse. This other guy would come into the office acting goofy, I'd swear he was on drugs. But then he would say he was just acting like his boss. Or...better yet, say these troublemakers are logging onto on the internet to view porno. Then, when your boss steps outside his office and threatens to fire you, just tell him he can't. I know this all sounds terrible, but this is what your co- workers are doing to you. In my situation, management used money, (which should have been to assist me in my job), to hire personnel to help their "other" management friends with their jobs. There was staff complaining of nothing to do, while I was overwhelmed with work. WHen I would show them the damage to my hands, they would laugh. But,,,I live in Atlanta, so...hopefully I can find employment elsewhere. I don't know how other people feel about this, the people I've talked always share their experiences with me.
[This message has been edited by MaryAnne5 (edited 05-23-2001).]
I understand exactly where you are coming from. My present supervisor when he ask me about my hands hurting all the time and did it slow down my job, I told him that I did my job and ask him what his wife was doing about her Carpal Tunnel at work. He said oh they took her off the computer and put her in bookkeeping and it was much better. I said well, what is this company going to do with me and what other job can I do. He left me alone after that. He just keeps piling on the work and I keep on doing it. I am doing what three people do on 1st and do they care NO! They will fuss if I don't get it all done in 8 hours with no overtime but let one of the others get behind and I have to do theirs also. They monitor the incoming and outgoing phone calls by number and the minutes you talk and wanted to know today how come I let someone use the phone for 37 minutes and guess what I wasn't there that nite I was on first. We have a so call union but the only reason we have them is that the product we manufactured won't be bought up north or overseas without a union label. When I went to the union about the problems I was having with management I got accused of going with one of the supervisors and when they finally talked with my supervisor then it only made him worse on me . I was passed up for numerous jobs that I was qualified for the employee manager saying because I was on light duty. Much younger people got the job with less experience. They are building a new office and won't even tell me where they are going to put me ( probably out the door if they can)I was even told if they were me they would quit and let the Lord take care of me. Well he helps those who help themself and I won't give this company any satisfaction of saying they made me quit. I am close to 49 with messed up hands, arms, and shoulders and noone will hire me elsewhere. I have a college education but that doen't matter anymore. I just want to work or have benefits and money coming in so I can help take care of my family.
It sounds like your spirit is improved a little. Where I worked there was a lot of family/extended family hired so there was little these people would do for me. You need to check to see if your managers are using employees for personal matters. They did at the school system. Also, check into the family background of those people yelling/cussing at you. I was told of employee family member's who had been terminated from the system for striking students etc. and they still hired other members of their immediate family. (They never heard the expression, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.) Also, the younger people your company hired probably lied on their applications somewhere, find out their weaknesses and exploit them (for they will do it to you). Many of the people I worked with were socially promoted, they lacked the basic qualifications to do their jobs. These are all very aggressive people. And remember, your employer (like mine) has probably tried to fire them in the past, but they are too afraid they will get sued. So find out. As far as your job, it really depends on how much you can put up with. I couldn't tolerate physical threats, or allowing more damage my other hand.(What kind of an employer would allow a boss to threaten an injured person? I should have been moved to another job just for this..)
They probably will move you out of your office, they did me. As far as the excuse of being on light duty, that's BS. I was never placed on light duty and they still got rid of me. Keep records of the additional work they are making you do, the supervisor responsible etc. AND, don't push yourself, those people are not worth it..
keep in touch
[This message has been edited by MaryAnne5 (edited 05-23-2001).]
I truly believe we have been in the same boat. I have kept records every since this startedfor some reason my husbands ask me to do it and I did. Thank goodness I did. The company I work for is closing Friday and giving their employees the day off with out pay and they are being paid for Monday. I was asked when I walked in the door this afternoon if I wanted to work Friday or take it off it was between me and another one. I will get off at 12mn and go back in at 7am I told her I would because I needed the forty hours on my pay check. I will drop orders to be filled for UPS and watch the gate. I am having some swelling in my left hand more than my right just below the thumb on top of my hand it is a soft tissue knot further down on my forearm I am swelled on the top and bottom and their is some discolorationon the top of my elbow I have soft tissue swelling and in my upper arm next to the shoulder I am swelled also. When I touch these places I have numbness and pain all the way up and down my arm. I can't do anything hardly with my thumb on the left hand. I have a sharp stabbing pain when I even use it to drive grasping the steering wheel. I've got to go to my family physician tomorrow for something else and will see if he thinks this is ok. He won't treat me for it but maybe he can make a suggestion. I don't know what else to do but keep calling my lawyer and getting him to try and get me into a Dr. The company would like nothing more than to see me quit and I won't. I wanted to take my son swimming this weekend but I know I can't hold up to swimming myself. Thank you for keeping in touch you have really helped me more than you know. I have spent many a nite tossing and turning and crying over this and I'm glad I found someone I can relate to with the same problem. I know some things on several at work and will keep it close in hand in case they get too hard on me. The nurse told me one time that she had had the same surgery and she was doing just fine and I told her I would do much better if I could sit behind a desk and heal also. She said wellI happen to know that is all you did was run computers before you came to work here I said well so put me behind another before I have too much damage. They didn't and waited until they thought I had too much damage and they would see me quit or they would fire me as I said before. The FCE is the only thing that saved me and the ones in the office I work in now are sticking together and trying to make it just as hard on me as they can. Some days I even hate to go in the office they smile and stab you in the back all in the same breath. My Grandmother use to say it will all come out washday. Sometimes I wonder when washday will come. Thanks for listening and keep in touch.
You need to get treatment, even if you pay out of pocket get your doctor to help you.
Tell the nurse and your co-workers about me. I was with the public school school system for over 12 years. I have been out of work for 8 months. Only because of what my coworker's did. They thought my husband would support me. They thought that because I didn't have children I could afford to be unemployed. (It didn't matter that I was doing my job, and others.) Tell your coworkers they are stupid, they don't even understand the purpose of worker's comp insurance. Ask your coworkers how many times they have been to doctor under the company's medical plan(HMO or whatever). Is there not one person in your office who has taken maternity leave, or injured themselves in an auto accident? (they no doubt, have wasted more of your companies money then you ever will.)If they question you, tell them I had to sue, just to GET my condition covered under state merit insurance for the school system wouldn't pay. This is why I lost my job. It really doesn't matter how long you have been with a company. (If they object, tell them to call your old employer. Chances are, they will be speaking to the same people(idiots) I used to work for. And if your coworkers don't like what they hear, they can quit paying taxes.)If you are forced to sue to settle under no liability(Worker Comp.) your company will fire you. Your upper echelon of management will not bend the rules, no matter what your co-workers think or say.
Keep me mind. I am still trying to find work and I appreciate your thoughts.
I went to my family physician Thursday and she believes I have developed asthma again I had it when I was little and out grew it. It may be the stress that I have been under with my hands. She gave me an antibiotic, steriods, and an inhaler to use. She did an xray and gave me a breathing treatment. She said since the company I work for didn't file under state W.C. she would call a doctor and see if she could set me up an appointment for my hands,arms, and shoulders. She said it appears my veins are knotting up in places where there is swelling and pain on my left arm.Have you ever heard of that. I feel as though I am falling apart first I loose use of my hands an now I wheeze and can't hardly breathe. I guess stress can do all kind of things to you. Get this my company is bragging about approaching 2million hours with out a loss time accident. They have them they just don't report them. They gave us all light weight jackets when we hit 150million hours. Whoopee!!! It shows you that this campany really doesn't care about their employees just the records. We got a big write up in the company newspaper at 150 million hours. My company didn't work Friday except a skelleton crew and I got off Thursday nite at 12mn and went back in Friday morning at 7am. To drop some orders and watch the gate on the monitor answer the phone and so forth. I did this so I would have my 40 hours in this week. What little bit I make I can't afford to make any less than 40 hours if I can help it. We get off Monday with pay . The nurse of our company was working today and when I went to get me a sandwich she was going out to her vehicle she wouldn't even speak I smiled and kept going. Not to give her any satisfaction if you know what I mean. It is hard for me to wait and keep seeing people hurt and no one cares but maybe what comes out of this will help someone in the future several more that I have talked with at the company have checked with State W.C. and guess what their claim was never filed either, they are going to do what they have to do. I have told them about you and your situation and how you were treated and they know how I was treated and I am hoping they will do the right thing for I know each one of them have permanent damage also and have no chance of getting another job anywhere. One lady wanted to get disability next year but without a recommendation from the company she won't get it and she isn't as fortunate as I she doesn't have the skills to go into an office so I pray she can hold out in assembly. Maybe I care about people too much but I don't want anyone to suufer the way I have and you have helped me a lot by caring and listening and helping me everyway you can. Thanks. You have given me the strength to keep on fighting. There is so much Carpal Tunnel in this plant alone and they cover it up and call it arthiritis or get rid of them as a temp or ignore them or make them quit. How are you doing? Keep in touch I care
I am not sure about your condition. There is something called RSD (risk sympathic dystrophy) which is characterized by chronic pain and swelling(hand). You can check it out on this site. Either way, you and your co-workers will probably suffer from chronic pain from now on. I was under the impression the sooner you have surgery for CTS the better your chances of recovery. I felt this is what happened to me. We were in the middle of Y2K and they would not give me time off for surgery until 3 months after I started having severe pain/numbness. I think at this point it was just too late. See what your Doctor thinks, then tell your friend. I did file with the state WC division. Went back to my employer to see if they would help. They couldn't, they didn't know what to do in this situation. I signed off on WC to cover it under personal insurance so I could get another job, and I didn't want to be in the position you are in. For I was told by them, that my ex-director wanted me to take this claim and file at another company. Her attitude explains exactly what happened to me, its arrogance/stupidity, it was a mess. I didn't sue under ADA to get my job back. Once you experience discrimination, especially when injured, they didn't offer a job and I didn't want to work for them. (I have had differing opinions on suing, not having received any help from my employer/coworkers most people agree they wouldn't want the job back.) Plus the school system just didn't have the necessary checks/balances in place to prevent something like this from happening again.
PS. If you file under your personal insurance, your insurance company should send you a letter asking if you think it is a work related injury. Ask your attorney, and check it YES. If you haven't received WC wages then you still might be able to sue for a WC settlement, then cover everything under your personal insurance (if its good insurance they will pay.)But you did the right thing by suing under WC. Carpal tunnel claims are numerous, there is no reason why anyone should have to go thru what you and I have been thru.
[This message has been edited by MaryAnne5 (edited 05-26-2001).]
I started having pain and numbness and swelling at the end of October of 99 and by Thanksgiving my hands were swelled so bad I was soaking in epsom salt using icy hot and taking advil. I kept going to the nurse and she kept giving me wraps and saying it was arthritis and there was nothing more she could do. I kept telling my supervisor and he kept saying I didn't want to work. Didn't want to work HUH! I was there everyday 10 to 11 hours a day and working each rotation. I didn't lay out or refuse to work like to so that got away with it. After we returned from Thanksgiving my hands I believe were back to pretty much normal and my supervisor had promised to put me on a different rotation. Guess what he put me back in the same slot in less than a week my hands were numb again, swelling and cramping this time. No matter what I did they woulkdn't stop this time. We were working 6 days a week 11 hours a nite My hands were so numb even with the wraps that I couldn't feel anything in my hands. My supervisor would cuss me holler at me and even made sexual overtures to make the other people on the line laugh at me. He threaten time off for me to go home and think about what I was doing, firing me and I told him he couldn't and this is when I went to the union with a written compalaint and guess what this is when they hollered and screamed at each other and he got worse at me. The plant manager walked through one night and the supervisor said across the room that the plant manager said to fire me if he wanted to which I told him that was a lie. He wouldn't let other employers help me if they did he said he would write them up My hands and arms hurt so bad by that time I stayed in tears all the time but kept on working and was harrassed by fellow employees and agged on by the supervisor. By Christmas I was putting icy hot on my hands and holding them under the hand dryer to even loosen them up to try and grasp the steering wheel to drive home and there was no way I got any sleep the nurse kept saying there was nothing more they could do. During Christmas shutdown two weeks, my hands never quit swelling and was numb constantly and hurt and cramped unbearably nothing helped. I went back to work after New years and told the nurse I had to see a Doctor. I couldn't even hold my new grandchild in my arms and that hurt beyond anything imaginable. My son would snuggle up close and I couldn't hold him and he would say mama don't cry I still love you. By the end of January I had tried to see 4 Doctors in town and when I described the symptoms they said it was W.C. to go through my employer and guess what my employer said it wasn't to see my Doctor. The one Dr. I did get into to see took one look at my hands and called out at the plant and told the nurse that I had Carpal Tunnel not arthiritis and I needed to see a specialist . By the time I got into a specialist and had the EMG study done with the NCV the motory and senurary nerves were both completely pinched off and I had irreversible damage the only alternative was to do surgery to give me any relief at all. I had my first surgery in March 2000 and went back to work the next day staggering into work because my employer refused to pay if I didn't and I continued to work from then on. My left hand never had a chance to heal properly and then the harrassment of trying to make me quit started and didn't let up I was ridiculed, hollered at watched accused of going with other men in the plant refused positions that I was qualified for and could have done the job and lost complete use of my right hand before they would ok the surgery. The company refused occupational therapy on my right hand and they had ok'd it on my left for 4 times . Didn't want to pay mileage out of town sent me to a physical therapist in town and they put ice on the nerves imagine that and I hurt all the way up to shoulders after the ice was applied and nothing stopped the pain for 24 hours. It was terrible. The company saw they couldn't get rid of me thats when they put me on regular duty transferred me to 1st and put me under another bad supervisor that started on me again well I survived her too and when the company told the Dr. to discharge me he did give me a Fuctional Capibility Evaluation with an impairment rating at the end of the 4 hours. The therapist was very concerned with my shoulders as I still had very little use of my hands and I was using my shoulders to compensate for my hands. I was given a 40% impairment in my hands and 42% in upper extremities and the company had a fit. If the management supervisor hadn't seen my FCE and carried it and me to Employee Relations Manager then I wouldn't have a job today the company would have gotten rid of me. Out of atleast 30 resume's I had turned in the management supervisor knew I couldn't do what I was doing anymore but felt I could do the work in the office. That's how Employee Relations was forced to give me the job I have now. I know I have permanent damage but the company still won't give up and still try to get me to quit. I am still another cover up but they can't get rid of me and I won't let them now. You have really helped a lot thanks for caring and sharing. I hope someone that reads this will be helped also. Repetitive Motion injuries are real and you life will never be the same again. I have 3 Grandchildren two of them I have never held in my arms. and that hurts to no means. I have a 30 year old daughter, a 27 year old son and a 7 1/2 yo son. I wouldn't trade any one of them for the world. The 7 year old was my husband's grandson and we adopted him I have raised him since he was born. So he is mine. I can't do the things with him that I did with my other son or daughter. I can barely work but I do my job and heaven help me if I make a mistake at work it is world war 3. Maybe it's a good thing my hands don't open all the way and I can fit the keys better. I wonder when this will stop and yes some of the same ones that went on and on befre try now and I just walk away and keep going. I still cry alot and with all this stress no wonder I have developed asthma again. I am in this to the end and they will not get rid of me easily I have fought too hard and too long to let them have it and I have probably developed RSD from their uncaring attitude with my hands and I will admit I was at my rits end about ready to throw in the towel before I came across this message board. Thanks for being a God send and being there when I needed someone the most and will continue to need your support. I've still got a long ways to go. This company doesn't care like yours didn't care their motto is there is always somone else that wants to work. We will find someone like us with a don't care attitude to do the job. I will take this to who ever I need to so maybe someone else will have a better and safer place to work.
Your management supervisor seems to know his job and your supervisor (like mine) hid your condition. The Chief Executive officer I worked under, considered carpal tunnel to be nothing more than a hurt finger. I spoke with the human resources officer and he was surprised that I was taking vacation to recover from (2nd)surgery, but he didn't help me get my job back or another job. The employee relations/risk management acted like they knew nothing of the situation. I've read everything you have written. Your co-workers/supervisor are to blame for not reporting your condition and getting you in for surgery. Just like your employer, the school system claims to an EEOC employer. If you do your job well, they will keep you in it, it you mess up they move/promote you. I was in the same job for 12 years, performing my job and other's. I saw the system hire people who couldn't code, couldn't manage, dumping work, threatening to sue the system if they were fired/layed off and harassing/ threatening people who are working. Having worked in education and the private sector it is worse in education, their is no recourse for the employee. I was told one of the reasons I was not promoted upward was that I didn't appreciate what management had done for me. I kept trying to figure out what they had done for me, and the answer was carpal tunnel. I hope for you, that your pain subsides. Stay with your company, for the upper management seem to know what they are doing.
I have to stay to help support my family but don't lnow how much longer I can continue to put up with their nasty niceness if you know what I mean and when this goes further with the lawyer they will not want me working there anymore but maybe I will have helped someone else that is or will be working for them. I don't know I am just one person and when this is over they will probably just shove it under the rug and keep on doing what they are doing. I don't think I will ever get any better and will probably get worse I am loosing more control over my hands and the pain isn't just in my hands and thumbs anymore it is with me everyday all the way into my shoulders. I believe the stress I am under has brought on the asthma. Sometimes I get so mad and sound off and maybe I shouldn't but sometimes I have to vent I should be in the prime of my life enjoying myself and doing things that other women do with their family. Would the EEOC and Osha help if they are contacted or should I leave well enough alone. We both have been through so much and I know it is not over yet. I feel angry and really want my old life back but I know that will never be. I am afraid before this is over the Government will be on their side and I will be shoved to the side and only remembered as the person that tried to cause trouble and as the company says didn't want to work. They will laugh and go on with their high with out loss time accidents. What can we do just sit and do nothing? How can we show people that we are really injured and are in pain physically and emotionally? Does anyone have any answers. Thanks for giving your support and your words of encouragement and thanks for listening. You have helped more than you realize.
I went to my personal Doctor today and he tried to get me into see another specialist for my hands elbows and shoulders. He said he wouldn't see me that I needed to go back and see the Doctor that did my surgery. I told him that it was suppose to be workman's comp and my company never filed with the stateand the company had him to discharge me and now he won't see me because the company won't pay. He said he would get a copy of my records and look at them and call and let my Dr. know what he decides. I left the office in tears and very discouraged. I called another Dr. that has had a copy of my records and they won't see me and I cried harder. I have to work and work I did this afternoon and when I got off I could barely drive home my hands swelled pain shooting all the way up into my shoulders with numbness in my hands also. Please if you are employed and have a repetive motion injury please follow up with what your employer tells you. Please check and make sure that what they are telling you is correct and they aren't just trying to cover up what has happen to you. Please get help before you have permanent damage and can't even do simple things like pick up your child and hold them or play ball with them. You don't know how important this is until it's too late and you can't do it anymore. I have suffered with this since the latter of 1999 and will have it the rest of my life. As I have said before I was on one job and now I am doing another but I was let go for so long that whatever I do won't help me anymore. Please take care of yourself because life is too short and you don't realize what you miss until you can't even do the simple things anymore. No Dr. will touch me. I am W.C. without W.C. and the company has complete control and now I will have to wait until I see what a lawyer can do and my company is influenial and large enough they can have it put off for a very long time. I don't want anyone to go through what I am going through. I do my job but one mistake and I am on center stage and they make a big issue out of it. I can't quit I need the income and the personal insurance for I can't get it with anyone and no one would hire me. I am at my wits end and don't know how much more I can take If you don't listen to anything I have said. Please just make sure everthing your company does is the way it should be done.
Your situation is terrible. If you file under your personal insurance it still can be considered a WC issue in Ga.(and doctors will treat you.) If your personal insurance won't pay with this stipulation, file with the EEOC. There is something terribly wrong with your insurance. I would write your local newspaper. (Maybe the laws need to be changed to cover people in your situation, but I doubt it.) If the EEOC determines your insurance is discriminating against you, make them sue. Its not fair to you. (If the EEOC can sue on a gay/aids issue, I would like them to sue for you. Your situation effects more people and crosses race/sex everything... )
How would I get a hold of the EEOC. I tried to look it up and maybe I am looking uder the wrong thing but I can't find it in Ala. State Government. I still feel as though I am at my ropes end. I am ready to try about anything but as my luck goes I feel as though I get discarded before I get started.
The web site is www.eeoc.gov there is a 1-800 number and a field office in Birmingham.
Also see if they can recommend a EEOC attorney for you, someone who knows ADA (americans with disability act).
What happened to me was that I reported my termination(layoff) to the EEOC because my ex-employer could not give a legitimate, job related reason for my layoff. The school system (management decision)was antagonized by this action, and they used this to prevent me for ever working for them again. People can be very small minded. I did everything I could to cooperate with them, so I would not have to file a EEOC claim.(I did not want to claim carpal tunnel against another company. The way it stands now, is that I can't claim WC for this injury, and this really frees another company to hire me. The schools system held this condition over me. Sign the way it is because we won't agree to anything else etc.it wasn't bad enough I had CTS, they wanted to make me un-employable.) I gave them 4 months, prior to contacting an attorney, to work thru this issue. They ignored/denied everything, hoping I would go away. They were uncooperative with the EEOC they did not file the response as required, until after my attorney contacted them.
So, be prepared for a fight. Make sure your co-workers understand that you are suing for the insurance. Or they will harass, possibly try to fire you/ruin your references etc. In Ga., it is difficult to fire contracted personnel(teachers, directors, supervisors etc.) after they are vested (my ex-boss would brag about this). This is why management did what they did, there knew there would be no repercussion. Still, I was suprised. It was just my good fortune, (and the insurance) that I was able to be operated on, or I would be going thru what you are going thru(it was my mistake, that I did not hire an attorney in Nov. of 99. I didn't know, chronic pain could result by postponing surgery.)Some of the people I've talked to (Hewlett Packard, Sears, Publix employees) were also surprised, and they are all for you suing, to get to the bottom of your situation. They don't understand it either.
[This message has been edited by MaryAnne5 (edited 06-11-2001).]
Thanks for the link. I will try it and call the 800 number. I can't be harrassed anymore than I am now. Now my company has taken out family coverage on me twice a month in my bi-monthly paycheck and guess what the company I work for says oops they made a mistake and there has been no coverage on my husband or child since 12/31/00. Yesterday they corrected and gave me a form to get my pharmacist to fill out for medication that we have paid for so they can give me back the co payment on my husband. I asked what about the money I had paid for family coverage and had only single coverage and what about the bills that hadn't been paid from the Dr and outpatient at the hospital for my husband. The girl said I would have to talk with the insurance company and the insurance company says I will have to talk with the company. I have sent all the information to my lawyer. Another way to harrass me and try to make me quit. They won't ever stop.