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Multiple Sclerosis in the Workplace

August 21, 2015

Having multiple sclerosis doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop working. Many people with the autoimmune disease continue to work while they can with the disease. However, this doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do.

While you have no legal obligation to share your diagnosis, some symptoms can become more obvious than others and it might begin to concern your coworkers as well as your boss. In cases where visible symptoms might be concerning and you decide to share your diagnosis, you will need to educate others on what the illness is and what they should be expecting.

As your MS progresses, your symptoms might change. It is important to know that you always have your rights. The Americans With Disabilities Act requires your employers to make reasonable accommodations for you and others with disabilities.

If you need these accommodations, they should be fairly reasonable and common things your employer can provide you with. These things include location, such as working on a lower floor if your mobility or accessibility happens to become an issue, working closer to the bathroom for bladder control issues and working in an area that for the most part stays cool if heat becomes a problem.

You can work out flex-time to build in periods that you can rest if fatigue becomes too overwhelming, take short-term disability leaves if you experience bad flare-ups and request special software that could aid you visually and improve your memory. For the most part none of these requests should be a problem and they are generally very inexpensive for employers to fulfill.

Unfortunately, it may come to the point where your symptoms might make it difficult to continue working outside of your home full-time. If your symptoms are making it impossible to even get to work in the morning and function to do your job, it might be the case that you will have to stop work and apply for long-term disability. If you prefer to not take this route, there is always the option of working part time and telecommunicating from home.



Multiple Sclerosis In The Workplace - Fri August 21, 2015 2:13 PM