Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sleep Apnea Discrimination Case Cleared to Proceed in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has found probable cause to proceed with an investigation into possible discrimination and retaliation by the Holliston School District against a school psychologist. The school psychologist claimed that his sleep apnea treatment was insufficient to his symptoms and asked for accommodations for his intermittent fatigue. When the school district refused, he asked MCAD to intervene, at which point he says he received disciplinary actions that were retaliatory in nature.

According to the district, the type of accommodation sought by the psychologist was unreasonable. The psychologist had asked for permission to complete paperwork at home on days when he was fatigued, contingent on his immediate supervisor's consent. However, the district did not think this was reasonable because the school psychologist has to be available for crises and should not be gone for "an indeterminate amount of time each day," in the words of the superintendant.

In response, the psychologist took his request to MCAD, which made the preliminary findings that the case justified investigation. At which point, according to the psychologist, some accommodations were granted, but, he says, he also received unjustified disciplinary action based on conflicting reports about a meeting with a student and his grandmother.

Although it is unclear how this case will be resolved, it is clear that sleep apnea can significantly impair your ability to work if you do not receive adequate treatment. If you have been prescribed a treatment that you cannot tolerate or use successfully, you need to seek another treatment before your profession and livelihood suffer.

To learn more about CPAP treatment alternatives, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 2:58 PM