Shingles

WHAT IS SHINGLES?

Shingles, is the activation of a virus that leads to painful blisters. Treatment is available, usually with anti-viral drugs, but these drugs must be taken within two to three days of the rash's development. Early symptoms include headache, rash, pain where the rash is developing, tingling, and itching. Sometimes, the virus can lead to more serious symptoms, such as nervous system complications, meningitis, and swelling of the spinal cord.

Treatment for shingles generally includes antiviral medication. Even with treatment, though, the rash and pain typically last for three to five weeks. Even worse, the individual might be left with paralysis, eye damage, and nerve damage.

WAYS IN WHICH YOU MIGHT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF SHINGLES

  • Your employer does not allow you to miss work for medical appointments
  • Your employer does not accommodate your need to take a reasonable amount of time off of work
  • Your employer will not provide reasonable on-site accommodations for your disability

HOW THE LAW PROTECTS YOU IF YOU HAVE SHINGLES

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.

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provide protection against disability discrimination. Shingles is such a disability, deserving of protection from discrimination, as long as the disease limits the individual's ability to work. Accordingly, an employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's shingles. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with shingles 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 individual with shingles might be in a great deal of time and need to leave work for doctor's appointments. An employer must accommodate the employee accordingly, unless doing so would unduly burden the employer.

Further Information