My Wife’s Experience
When my wife became ill she was forced to quit her job. She spent 8 months on disability and it was during this time we started learning what the rules were and how to make our environment safe. When she was approached by an organization that had learned about her through a professional acquaintance, we were completely unprepared for the thought of her returning to work. We couldn’t imagine a workplace that would cater to her needs. Despite all of our reservations, she went on the interview and found the role was a perfect fit. Before accepting the position she met with the HR director and went into detail about the requirements and accommodations she would need. This was no problem.
We were extremely lucky that she now works for an organization that went all out to work with us. My wife works in a non-profit as the Director of Development, the mission of which is very close to her heart. She was thrilled to be working again. After all, she had just completed her MBA prior to taking the job that caused her to become ill and the psychological letdown of reaching a milestone in her career and then falling ill was profound.
The situation today is very good. We are extremely lucky…I can’t stress enough that she’s fortunate to work where she does. There were challenges to getting to this point as well and we recognize that this is a very unlikely occurrence for most people who are chemically sensitive. In fact, I would expect that in most environments, the only option is to quit working. If going to work contributes to a decline in health, leaving that environment will be inevitable.