Saturday, May 28, 2011

Recent Email Concern: When and What to Tell Your Employer

We recently received an email expressing the following concerns:

When is it appropriate to tell an employer (new or established) that you have narcolepsy? What if you can't make it through the day without dozing off at least once? Who should you tell about your narcolepsy, and what should you tell them?

This is a question that many people with narcolepsy struggle with, there are no right or wrong answers. 

For some of us, the need to make sure that our employer is aware of our situation is an overriding compulsion that demands that we provide explanations for our behavior (in 2004, when I was initially diagnosed with Narcolepsy, I got a note from my doctor to have added to my file in the hopes of preventing any repercussions if someone found me "sleeping" at my desk. Since then, that note has been lost in my file, I have been "called to task" for dozing off during meetings, etc. and in self defense have felt the need to request a new, updated letter to be added to my file at work. I have a new director who has challenged me to provide proof of my disability). 

Others fear that providing information of this nature is like offering an employer an "easy out" option if they find any thing unsatisfactory in our job situation.

There is anecdotal evidence on both sides of the discussion that would make either response reasonable.

Let us know what you think by posting your opinions here.

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