WHAT IS AN ANEURISM?
An aneurism is localized, blood-filled dilation of a blood vessel caused by disease or weakening of the vessel wall. Aneurisms are described according to size: saccular aneurisms are typically small and "sac" like, whereas fusiform aneurisms are shaped like spindles. Aneurisms can occur anywhere in the body where there is a blood vessel, but they most commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain and in the aorta.
This bulge in a blood vessel can burst, leading to death at any time. Aneurisms also present the risk of blood clots. Aneurisms, however, can generally be treated. Treatment can include surgery as well as blood pressure control. Risk factors for aneurisms include diabetes, obesity, smoking, and alcoholism.
WAYS IN WHICH YOU MIGHT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF AN ANEURISM
- Your employer does not allow you to miss work for medical appointments
- Your employer will not provide reasonable on-site accommodations for your disability
- Your employer does not provide you with time off of work to receive treatment, including recovery time from surgery
HOW THE LAW PROTECTS YOU IF YOU HAVE AN ANEURISM
To state a cause of action for disability discrimination, an employee must be disabled, regarded as disabled, or have a record of being disabled. The employee must then show that:
- his or her disability results in physical limitations
- that he or she can still perform the essential functions of the job (with or without reasonable accommodations)
- and that the employer took some adverse action (such as not hiring, firing, or demoting the employee) on the basis of that disability
According to both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, an employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's disability. An adverse employment action would include discriminatory hiring, firing, or lack of accommodation. Having an aneurism can be a disability, deserving of protection from discrimination, as long as the aneurism limits the individual's ability to work. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with an aneurism so as to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The law will protect an employee whose employer does not provide these necessary accommodations. For example, an employee might need to take time off of work to surgically remedy her aneurism. In that case, the employer has an obligation to provide this time to the employee, provided that this does not place an undue burden on the employer.
- For Legal Help see Finding an Attorney and David H. Greenberg, California Employment Law Attorney.