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Bay Area FM Patient Required to Work Overtime Awarded $75K

  [ 12 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ] • February 12, 2009

20-year employee signed medical release to keep job.

A San Francisco-area woman with fibromyalgia has been awarded a settlement of $75,000 from her employer, plus the right to limit her work schedule to 40 hours a week, according to a January 28 report in the San Francisco Chronicle.*

The disability discrimination suit, filed on behalf of Janet Stege against Georgia-Pacific by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after attempts at a settlement failed and the company reportedly took the position that overtime was an essential part of the job, noted that:

• Stege, who has worked for the international forest-products company since 1988 as a janitor and production line worker, had been allowed to limit her schedule to the traditional 40-hour work week based on her doctor’s recommendation.

• But when the company closed its South San Francisco plant in 2004 and transferred her to another plant location, she was required both to sign a medical release and work overtime. The 40-hour limit had allowed her "to continue to work hard for the company and still manage my health issues," Stege said in a statement released through the EEOC in 2007.* "My supervisors were pleased with my performance. So when my accommodation was revoked, I was shocked and devastated."

• Stege subsequently experienced deteriorating health but continued working to keep her job, according to EEOC attorney Linda Ordonio-Dixon.

* “Woman wins $75,000 from Georgia-Pacific,” Jan 28 2009; "Timber firm sued by Feds," Aug 2, 2007

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Fibromyalgia and how we are seen
Posted by: Dollyonline
Feb 18, 2009
And so it continues. We will be seen as a problem just as other disabilities are seen as a problem in the workplace. Employers will continue to look for ways to dismiss us so that they can hire employees that will give 150% and work overtime for nothing. You find yourself saying "I'm fine" when someone asks how you are feeling, because you are afraid of losing your job if you say anything about how you are really feeling. I commend this person for fighting for their rights. No one should have to work overtime or give more than 100% of themselves in any job.
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