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  • Writer's pictureAila Health

Talking to Your Employer About Long Covid

Dealing with long COVID can be incredibly challenging, especially when it comes to discussing work accommodations with your employer. Many long COVID patients struggle with fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms that can make it difficult to work as they had before developing a chronic illness.

Anyone who has had COVID-19 can develop long COVID, but research suggests that individuals who had severe COVID-19 infections, older adults, and those with underlying health conditions may be at higher risk. The duration of long COVID can vary, but it typically lasts for several weeks or months. Some individuals may experience symptoms for up to a year or more.

Living with long COVID can be a challenging journey, but it is essential to advocate for yourself and communicate your needs effectively to your employer.

Below are some tips to make the conversation easier:

  • Understand your legal rights: It's essential to understand your legal rights when it comes to long COVID and employment. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, which includes long COVID. These accommodations can include adjustments to work schedules, changes to job duties, or even the provision of additional support or resources.

  • Educate yourself about long COVID: It's important to understand what long COVID is and how it may impact your ability to work. Long COVID is a condition where individuals continue to experience symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, and shortness of breath, for several weeks or months after recovering from COVID-19. The severity and duration of long COVID symptoms can vary from person to person, so it's essential to educate yourself about how it affects you specifically.

  • Communicate your needs clearly: When talking to your employer about long COVID, it's important to communicate your needs clearly. Be specific about how your symptoms are impacting your ability to work and what accommodations you need to perform your job effectively. For example, if you are experiencing fatigue, you may need to adjust your work schedule or take more frequent breaks throughout the day. You can work with companies like Disclo to help support you in this process.

  • Provide documentation: If you are requesting accommodations from your employer, it is important to provide proper documentation from your healthcare provider about your long COVID diagnosis and symptoms. This documentation can help support your request for accommodations and provide your employer with a better understanding of your needs.

  • Be prepared to negotiate: When requesting accommodations, be prepared to negotiate with your employer. While employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations, they are not required to provide every accommodation requested. It's important to approach the conversation with an open mind and be willing to work together to find a solution that works for both you and your employer.

  • Seek support: Living with long COVID can be challenging, and it's essential to seek support when needed. Consider joining a support group or talking to a mental health professional to help you cope with the challenges of long COVID. Additionally, if you feel that your employer is not providing reasonable accommodations or is discriminating against you due to your long COVID diagnosis, consider speaking with an employment lawyer or filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Got questions or need help managing your Long Covid symptoms? Schedule an appointment with Aila Health’s care team today.

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