There is a lot of misconception about Autoimmune Disease in the Workplace, not only from HR professionals, managers, and employers, but also even employees themselves with Autoimmune Disease. These are 3 myths about Autoimmune Disease in the workplace and the facts to dispel them.
I get asked to speak quite often on Autoimmune Disease in the workplace. It’s my mission, passion, and advocacy. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the same story from both seasoned HR professionals and also the employees with Autoimmune Disease. It’s not malice and it’s not even ignorance.
It’s an education issue.
It’s the fact that no one is talking about this.
That other than my training, there is minimal information out there.
And I want that changed.
If you’re a HR professional, manager, consultant, or even an employee with Autoimmune Disease, I’m certain at least one if not all of these myths are going to surprise you! Which one resonated with you the most?
Imagine… Thriving in the workplace with Autoimmune Disease! Click below…
3 Myths About Autoimmune Disease in the Workplace
Myth #1 – Autoimmune Disease Isn’t Really a Real Disease.
Fact. There are over 100 different Autoimmune Diseases. Some that you may be familiar with are Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Graves and Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s, or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
In a nutshell, it’s the process of your immune system becoming imbalanced and literally attacking itself and the very cells that it’s meant to protect. Autoimmune Diseases encompass a broad category of related diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks his or her own tissue.
So, it’s not just real, it’s over 100 different real diseases affecting close to 20% of Americans kind of real.
Myth #2 – You Look Fine so There is Nothing Wrong with You.
Fact. Every Autoimmune Disease is unique and every symptom manifests itself differently.
Some of the primary symptoms include debilitating fatigue and pain, brain fog and cognition issues, and digestive issues.
These symptoms are often progressive and unpredictable. 75% of those who have an Autoimmune Disease are women and the symptoms often mimic hormonal issues such as perimenopause or even the stress of balancing work and family, which makes it extremely difficult to diagnose.
Autoimmune Disease is called an invisible illness for a reason. Yes, you look completely fine on the outside, but there is a legitimate illness going on inside.
And oh, by the way, the 2008 ADA Amendment Act covers “major bodily functions, such as functions of the immune system… digestive… endocrine… lymphatic” which means that Autoimmune Disease is covered as a legal disability in the workplace. That employee who “looks fine” is actually covered under the ADA.
Myth #3 – This Doesn’t Apply to Me and My Workplace.
Fact. Approximately 15 million Americans who have an Autoimmune Disease also work in a full-time job. That’s the equivalent of the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago… combined! The onset is predominantly in their 30’s and 40’s which are prime years for someone to be growing in their career and climbing the corporate ladder.
Because Autoimmune Disease is so complicated and there isn’t anything out there addressing its ramifications in the workplace, employees are often dismissed at the line manager level and their case never even makes it to HR.
This results in employees having to take more sick days, decreases productivity, and opens up the employer to liability and legal issues.
Are You Ready to Thrive in the Workplace?
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