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Amy Sales

Amy Sales

1 thought on “Amy Sales”

  1. Ms. Sales,

    I just read the excerpt from your book "Walking on Eggshells" in the Summer 2013 edition of careADvantage magazine. You not only recommend that a caregiver take his or her employer into his or her confidence about a loved one's diagnosis, you say that this is a "topic on which I am very insistent" that the affected person do the same. I must strongly and strenuously push back on you regarding this issue. Informing an employer is an extremely risky step that must be very carefully considered, both for the person with the disease and for the caregiver to that person. When my wife was diagnosed with Younger Onset AD 8 years ago, I immediately told my employer. Within a few weeks, I was given a remote assignment that would have kept me away from home for 6 days a week, even though up until then I had never even traveled overnight for this company. When I told my employer I couldn't accept that assignment under the circumstances and asked to be reassigned to a local project, I was laid off. A friend who was on senior staff at this company told me in confidence that my wife's diagnosis was the actual reason for my termination, and that management was afraid that caring for her would impact my job at an unacceptable level.

    I took my next employer into my confidence as well, and found that my name was on the list for the next round of layoffs there, too. Again, a person who was familiar with the selections told me that my wife's diagnosis was the reason I was selected for layoff.

    When my wife, who was a teacher in a public school system, told her superintendent of her diagnosis, she was immediately terminated because she was an unacceptable risk to children.

    I consulted an employment attorney about all three of these incidents. I was informed that her employer was within rights, and in my case unless I had a "smoking gun", meaning someone who would testify in court on my behalf, I was up the creek as well. I think it behooves you to be a little more careful about advising people of the potential risks involved in speaking with employers. At least from my perspective, the "I completely understand" employer is in the same category as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, that is, a mythological creature.

    Alan Holbrook

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