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Readers Respond: What IBS Accommodations Do You Need at Work?

Responses: 10


Updated August 20, 2012

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals who have disabilities. These accommodations might include comfortable access to a restroom or flexible work hours to account for times of IBS exacerbation. What reasonable accommodations would you like to see at your job site due to your IBS? If your employer has already made accommodations for your health, what are they? Share your thoughts here and find out what accommodations other IBS sufferers need at their workplace.

have to quit my job

I developed IBS in my last employment just before I left, I think it was triggered due to a number of stress factors, marriage, moving, etc etc. In those last few months I was hospitalized and had numerous episodes so I had no sick days. My work in the UK as a health care professional can not accommodate me in any way. My manager knows I am genuinely sick but in the NHS all they care about is productivity, being there in the hours you're meant to be. Because of the cramps and pain is often have to go home early or lay down somewhere until painkillers kicked in. My manager told me human resources will call me for interview if I have 3 or more episodes of sickness in year. And I may not be suited for hospital work if my condition is affecting my work. I find this outrageous. I love my job and I work hard when I'm at work, I even stay late, I cover other people shifts and cover sickness for others. It's not like I hate my work and I don't work hard.

work from home?

I have a job in healthcare that requires me going to the office for business hours. I have FML for IBS and my bosses are very understanding when I can't make it, but it doesn't change that when I am gone things go undone and Im behind on paperwork when I return. Does anyone have suggestions about jobs you can do at home? everything online seems like a scam. I have a graduate education, references, experience, just can't find any home jobs..
—Guest hurting

IBS at work -modify

I have tried to get a flexible schedule to accommodate my health needs w/o avail. But I did not mention my IBS as I was too embarassed.
—Guest mary

Pushing heavy carts

I have IBS and it's very difficult to push carts at work all day 8 hour shifts. It puts a lot of stress on my body which causes my symptoms to get worse. And I'm far from a bathroom. What should I do?
—Guest Joe


All that is necessary to do the job we're good at are, in my opinion: flexible work hours (there is no way to guarantee that I'll make it to work exactly at 9.00 o' clock; but given flexibiliy; I will get there and do the exact amount of work needed or more!!), access to a bathroom in a way that not all the colleagues notice me (so privacy please!) and finally a place to lie down when necessary (and this ís necessary because it makes the pain and cramps go away a lot faster than having to sit up right). May I suggest that if there is a possibility to at least work from home part time we should be given the chance. We will work hard and good and make up for any adjustment just to prove we can do the job just as well or even better, given a fair chance!!!
—Guest Maris

Employers & Their lack of knowledge

I've been terminated from 3 jobs in the past year and a half because of my inability to be "on time" for work. I do outside sales, I'm good at what I do, and I sell and do my job very well. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to ever make it to work at 8am. sometimes im 15 min late, but always work late and again always produce and hit goal. Let's face it..this is embarrassing. I'm a 32 year old attractive female with IBS. Why would I ever want to tell my old or even young man boss that I can't make it to work on time because I either was too constipated or had to stop at 4 gas stations on the way or i would poopoo in my pants. When tardiness was addressed, I was always honest. 3 times now, immediately after revealing my condition, I was fired because "it's just not working out". What isnt working out? If the ADA has truly taken into heart and consideration our disease, then they need to educate employers because it's not unreasonable to ask for slight schedule modifications.
—Guest Marla

Working from home

My IBS is intermittent. I've already had an FMLA claim for 2010. I've asked repeatedly, and my doctor has supported, that working from home which does not negatively affect my performance or ability to do the job, would be advisable. The bathrooms are far enough away from offices and cubicles that I've had numerous "accidents" which are embarrassing and require I leave work anyway to clean up and change. I would hope that a modified schedule to work from home when I'm having an episode would be considered "reasonable accommodation."

No Cubicles

I was unable to work in a cubicle due to IBS. Because you are always "on view" in a cube, my body reacts to this as a stressful situation which triggers symptoms. I had my gastroenterologist write a letter asking that I be allowed to have an enclosed office. My workplace accommodated me. But, this removed me from my co-workers and may have contributed to me being laid off.
—Guest KC


My employer does not have parking for employees. We must take a bus in from a parking area two miles away. Buses cause tremendous stress (no toilet). The ride is only ten minutes but my anxiety skyrockets knowing I won't have access, which in turn makes me need the toilet immediately. I have been parking on my employers lot (VA hospital) and have had two $40.00 parking violations. I've asked for parking accommodations and the staff doctor has said that there really is no use in asking for parking privileges, they have refused others who have MS. I am so deflated, this is a pretty good government job and now I feel I have no choice but to find new employment. P.S. Of course all of the hospital executives have designated parking spaces on hospital grounds.
—Guest William

Bathroom in Sight

I have repeatedly asked to have my desk moved so that I can see if the employee bathroom is occupied or open. My supervisor says they are working on it. I don't know what the problem is. It would relieve a great deal of anxiety for me knowing that I could get in there fast if I needed.

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