What do I do if the side effects of a required medication interefere with my ability to perform my job?

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2009

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What do I do if the side effects of a required medication interefere with my ability to perform my job?

Hi,I have an unusual extreme allergic reactive to common irritants: dust, pollen, etc. Since these things are unavoidable, and since my reactive is anaphalactic, or potentially life-threatening, I am on the highest dosage of antihistmines available. These medicines give me side effects, including brain fog, forgetfulness, and they slow me down. These side effect are well documented. My assistant manager recently talked to me about my forgetfulness and how it negateively impacts my performance. Since most antihistimines have the same side effect, what can I do to protect myself legally?

Asked on June 7, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I cannot really find a legal case from what you described. What I would suggest is that you contact a local attorney who specializes in this area of law and see if they may know of a way you can legally ensure no issues arise for you.

In general if the employer feels you are unable to perform your job they will have the right to fire you but again I do not want to jump the gun and cause you to be concerned for no reason. This is why I want you to speak with a local attorney. I would suggest that if you have no choice but to take the medication and you have doctors notes to that effect use that explain your situation explain its seasonal and try to protect yourself by addressing the problems outright rather than hope they go unnoticed. good luck

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