We got an answer...

Many of you have asked about the status of Steve's diabetic service dog. For those of you just tuning in, we had asked permission of Steve's employer to bring the dog in and he refused. We wrote and sent a rebuttal and asked for reconsideration. He responded he was meeting with his legal/HR staff and would let us know. But then, there was no response. We contacted the EEOC who told us we needed to write a formal letter requesting accommodation (as diabetes is considered a disability by the ADA), which we did. We asked for a response no later than April 15 (which ended up being a little over 2 weeks for him to respond).

Yesterday, we received an emailed letter basically saying that the dog would be allowed on site, but Steve would be relegated to a back office where he would be required to stay except for lunch, breaks and coming and going to work. Oh, yeah, but when he just HAD to get up, the dog had to stay in the office. And while in the office, the dog would have to be in a cage at all times. Unless he has to go out to you know...relieve himself. And when he does relieve himself, Steve is responsible for "neutralizing" the spot and replacing any grass or plants that might be harmed or damaged because of the dog. Oh yeah, and if it's determined that Steve was misdiagnosed those 40+ years ago and turns out he doesn't have diabetes, then the dog has to go. Um. OK. I'll make a note that if a miracle occurs or a cure for diabetes is found that we'll keep the dog at home.

Basically not the answer we wanted, but to be honest, it wasn't far off from what I expected. However, Steve was pretty upset. Well, that isn't true. He was more than "pretty" upset. Infuriated. Enraged. Really pissed off? You get the point.

So. Here we are...again. We have another call into the EEOC to determine whether what they are offering are truly "reasonable" according to the ADA. Up until now, I've kept the blog pretty free of what we are doing because it is a public blog, but now I feel is the time to put it all out there and let you know where we are. We aren't interested in suing and taking the company for all it's worth or anything like that. We just want to be treated fairly and I personally want to STOP living in the fear that my husband is going to die from an accident caused from low blood sugar!

Needless to say, yesterday afternoon was very unhappy for the Taylors. It was near the end of the day and so I decided to go out and read Beth Moore's blog that I'd been saving. I knew it was the 15th which means it was time for another memory verse and I wasn't ready to decide which verse I was doing, so I hadn't read her post yet. This is the verse she chose:

"In my anguish I cried to the LORD and He answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies." Psalm 118:5-7 (NIV)

Could a verse have spoken directly to my spirit any more? I think not. I actually texted Steve right then the entire 3 verses. I can only hope it brought him peace as it did me.

What can you pray for? Pray that...

*Steve's boss would have a change of heart and decide that this is a GOOD thing.

*Steve would have peace. He is SO angry and I understand. He has to work in this environment where it's clear they don't want him around. Pray that God will surround him with peace.

*We would have wisdom in this situation. We want to be sure we are doing the right thing and in the right way.

*This would be resolved quickly. Steve is due to leave June 28 and there are many plans to be made that hinge upon this departure.

*We will be open to accepting the Lord's answer, whatever it is, and whenever He chooses to deliver it.

Thanks to all of you. We're waiting to hear back from the EEOC and once we know more, I'll let you know.


Christy said...

Praying that things resolve quickly and successfully. It frustrates me that so many people view service dogs as "just a dog!" Don't they know about all the training they receive?! I mean, service dogs have more manners than most people! (Typed while the one year old cries and hits my leg--a service dog would never do that!) =)

Stacey said...

Thinking of y'all. I could say more - you know I have plenty of choice words - but I won't

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sandra. I'm so sorry to hear that. Praying that a breakthrough at his work will happen soon!