Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Feeling bullied by work

04-19-2015, 07:37 AM   #1
loubybooby19's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United Kingdom
Feeling bullied by work

I'm currently struggling to control a flare up after newly diagnosis with Crohn's...
Unfortunately because of this I've had to take 6 weeks off work up to now, I have spoken to my manager and she's becoming a bit of a bully... She's asking just why the doctors can't control it and why I am always seeming to be up and down constantly with loads of doctors appointments, telling me now it's time to update her constantly with everything that's going on and a possible return date as well as saying she is now passing this on to occupational health, sounding like it was more of a threat then to help me out.
This is causing so much stress and now I'm to worried go back to work or ask my GP for any more time off as I'm worried for my job security and I just don't know what to do any more
04-19-2015, 08:31 AM   #2
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They cant sack u if u got sick notes hun xx
04-19-2015, 09:07 AM   #3
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As mrspecker says, they can't sack you for being sick. You do need to make sure you keep them informed, but if you aren't well enough to go in there is nothing they can do. Have you given them information about the disease so that they have more of an understanding about it? Sometimes [ or often ] it is ignorance on their part and it just needs for them to be given the info. It might be worth asking your doctor or consultant to write them a letter. This will often help.
Occupational health may be a good way to go as they are more likely to listen and try to see if there is anything that they can do to help.

Good luck x
Son - -14
diagnosed 29/10/2009

Taken off azathioprine Jan 2011 due to needle phobia
carried on with just pentasa until March 2013

6 weeks Modulen Dec 12 / Jan 13

Finally overcame needle phobia after 3 very long years due to getting right help.

Currently on
125mg Azathioprine
3000mg Pentasa
20g Omeprazole
20mg Buscopan
5mg Prednisolone
600mg ferrous gluconate
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Started Infliximab 18/03/15
04-19-2015, 10:02 AM   #4
loubybooby19's Avatar
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I'm looking forward to the meeting with occupational help as I can explain everything better and I am going to print out the information booklet for employers on the problem and hopefully it will help them understand it a bit better and they will realise I'm not just doing it to be off sick for ages for no reason but because there is actually something wrong that takes time to settle.
04-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #5
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Perhaps send her some literature on the chronic nature of this disease and how it's difficult to control with many ups and downs.
04-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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I saw on a post here recently, someone had a link about work rights or what employers should know. Anyone?? It was from a UK Crohns charity I think. If I find it I will send the link.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I know the feeling of not being able to go to work and having the guilt about it even though you should not be feeling guilty.
04-19-2015, 03:34 PM   #7
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Iv been off since Feb not diagnosed yet just told bowel disease just waiting for colonoscopy and mri my liver bloods are raised but I will bill glad to get a answer iv had problems since about age 8 with bowels but as got older got worse haven't felt well for a long time I have painful joints but seemed to be going to doctor with every pain I got admmitted into hospital said gall bladder then something else finally referred to gastrics and poo sample came back raised so waiting now but have good days and then bad day today nk on morphine with severe pain
04-19-2015, 08:16 PM   #8
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Hi, Sorry you are in this position; having stress heaped upon serious ill health is super unhelpful!

First of all, although you do have to keep in touch with your manager and you do have to give them an idea of anticipated timeframes, you actually don't have to give them details (unless you want to). I think because we tend to say what it is automatically when it's something acute like the flu, we don't always realise we are not required. If you feel comfortable explaining then I don't want to put you off. But if she is not showing signs of being particularly considerate, then just bear in mind that she may not be being discrete with other colleagues. We have nothing to be embarassed about with bowel disease, but we also have a right not to feel forced to share intimate details if we don't want too.

You may not be aware but in the UK you (and crohns) meet the criteria for disability under the terms of the equality act. This makes your ill health a protected characteristic and gives you a raft of rights - including workplace rights covering things like discrimination and reasonable adjustments - that you wouldn't have from being sick alone. I appreciate you may not define yourself as disabled, but this is simply a legal definition, it doesn't have to overlap with your self concept and is separate from disability benefits or badges etc. So don't be shy in using it in this context if it will help you make your case. You can find out more here It is however important that you or someone representing you (like OH) spells out to her your disability status, as they are only culpalble for failing to comply if they cannot argue they did not know.

I think it is a good thing you will be seen by OH. Some managers do try and wield it like it is threatening, but provided they are a decent OH department it could be helpful. At the very least it provides a buffer between you and your manager. They will have seen lots of people with IBD and have an idea how tough it can be. If you are able to start thinking about what would be helpful when you go back in terms of adjustments, then it would be good to discuss this with them, as they can get the ball rolling by including it in their report. Your manager does not have to grant the adjustments but she does have to state in writing why not (there can be acceptable reasons why they cannot be accomadated). You can also work out with them a reasonable time frame for next contact with your manager.

I hope things settle (both with the crohns and work). It is unfair and to be honest for some people the fact that you are genuienely ill will make little if any difference to them behaving badly about it. You could explain till you're blue in the face but they will never understand. Just arm yourself with as much info as possible and stay connected to those you can rely on and make you feel strong. Good luck.
04-20-2015, 05:08 AM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Thank you so much guys!!
I'm really looking forward to seeing occupational health cause I can put my point across and say it's a little worse then the flu it's not something I can actually control, I've been told my OH people are actually very nice and I'm looking forward to having the buffer between myself and my manager.
I've heard that I am now technically disabled even if I don't feel it but I'm not letting it get me down I will use it to help me out when I need it. I have printed off the employers information about crohns I'm going to give her it as some midnight reading so she can understand, she might not but at least I tried.
04-20-2015, 08:39 AM   #10
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Hopefully OH will be the people who can get it sorted out for you. When I was first dx'd I nearly lost a job for "inability to perform the duties"... I was out two months in a row for major pain attacks. It scared me a lot. It still scares me, tbh.
Dx Ileal Crohn's Disease 12/2010
Current Status: Most recent 'flare' began January 7. Symptomatic, but scopes show only equivocal inflammation.
Medication: Pentasa 4000 mg
Queen of the magical mystical utterly-debilitating ovulation pain.

Higher. Further. Faster. More. - Hopeless comic book nerd
04-21-2015, 02:05 PM   #11
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This is causing so much stress and now I'm to worried go back to work or ask my GP for any more time off as I'm worried for my job security and I just don't know what to do any more
I hate to say this, but I went through the same thing as you did loubybooby19; I was fired from my job just three weeks after my diagnosis. My boss said to keep her informed- I did; bring notes from doc- I did; proof of visits, Rx, everything was to be documented by medical staff for her- I provided it all.

They covered their arses by saying they were letting me go due to "low work performance." I know better, but they were too big with a whole slew of attorneys to protect them. I didn't fight it, but I did happily take the unemployment checks for the next two months! I wish you the very best in your job security!

Dx Crohn's 2014

Current Rx:
Remicade (starting 2/16/16), Imuran, Celebrex, Flovent (for EoE), Singulair

Previous Rx:
Prednisone (pure evil), Budesonide (bad reaction), Prilosec, Bentyl, Protonix, Cimzia (failed after 4 months), Humira (failed after 7 months)

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