Living with a chronic or invisible illness not only reigns havoc on your personal and home life – it can seriously affect your work life as well. One of the hardest things can be getting employers or coworkers to understand and support the adjustments you may need to your work day.
Here’s our list of things that we wished employers would get.
- Work Hours
When you have a chronic or invisible illness, you don’t always know when you will get sick, just that you will get sick. Having flexible work hours allows you to leave early or come in later when you are having a bad day. This can not only be important for when you are feeling sick, but also important for managing doctors appointments.
- Sick Days
Like we said, you never know when you will get sick or how often. Employers with limited sick days can cause a problem. While we may not expect to get paid for every sick day we take, having the freedom to take the day off when we need it is important.
- Doctors Notes
The worst thing employers can do is demand a doctor’s note. When you have a chronic or invisible illness, you often have specialists who have very limited time – you either waste the specialists time going in to get a note, or you waste your time going into the ER / walk-in /urgent care. There’s also the matter of how serious your illness may be. Often a “bad day” limiting you from going into work, also stops you from leaving the house period.Luckily, there are doctors who are now making doctors note policies harder on businesses and calling businesses out on the stress they are putting on the health system.
- Banned Items
Work (and school) environments that refuse to facilitate a severe allergy or other sensitivity can force you to give up your job. Anaphylactic allergies, issues with perfume or scents, are just some of the things that can cause a problem.
- Specialized equipment
Employers are often mistaken to think that wheel-chair accessibility and other more “visible” restrictions are important but neglect the invisible ones. This can be as simple as providing a more comfortable chair or changing a desk height to help with chronic pain but often times it can be a difficult sell to employers – especially those with limited budgets.