Let me express my sympathy for your situation. You would think a hospital would be more understanding of employees with medical conditions than any other employer. But unfortunately, it seems often hospitals often tend to be less accommodating than other employers. I am a nurse and since being diagnosed, it has been a constant struggle with my employer to educate them about sleep apnea. "You should go to bed earlier'', "Just take some sleeping pills", Or "I don't see what the big deal is?" are common comments.
Based on what you have told us, I think you should probably consult with a lawyer. First of all, any reference to your appearance is discriminatory unless you came to work in grossly soiled or torn clothing or had extremely poor hygiene. Work is not a fashion show, and as long as you are wearing clean clothing that conforms to the employer's dress code and follow basic personal hygiene rules; your appearance, I believe, legally has no bearing on your job. And if your weight was even hinted as a reason for your dismissal then you definitely have a case under Americans with Disabilities (ADA) laws. And what the heck is this stuff about your appearance "bringing down the morale of the department"?
I was wondering how long before you were dismissed, did you have your sleep study? When are you supposed to receive your CPAP? Has your termination delayed your treatment?
You have a known, treatable medical condition affecting your job performance and you should, at the very least, been able to use the 12 weeks allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to stabilize your condition. The fact you where not given the opportunity may also be a violation of the law. I think under ADA laws, you are entitled to "reasonable" accommodations related to a medical condition. It sounds alot like your employer didn't wish to be bothered and let you go to keep from having to deal with changes they might have been required to make.
Take heart that you are not alone. I pray you and your family will find relief soon and you will get the treatment for your apnea that you need. And please, consult a lawyer and find out what you can do about your job, check into unemployment , and last but not least, keep your chin up and never let jerks bring you down.
Last edited by skyblue-pink
on Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.