If I’m a manager for a major retailer and suffered a stroke while pregnant due to my employer’s disregarding my doctor’s note, what type of lawyer should I contact?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m a manager for a major retailer and suffered a stroke while pregnant due to my employer’s disregarding my doctor’s note, what type of lawyer should I contact?

I gave my boss a note from my OB-GYN that I could only work a max of 8 hours/day but my note was ignored. A month later I had a stroke. I was working 10-12 hours per day 5-6 days a week and was not allowed to sit down. Even though my job title is manager, the company had me doing non-managerial tasks – merchandising, climbing ladders, working trucks, etc. I was hospitalized for a week at 27 weeks pregnant with a diagnosis of stroke and a week later was hospitalized again for a mini-stroke. I suffer from cognitive loss (confirmed by neurological tests) and some vision loss. The baby is fine thank God. What case do I have against employer?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Personal Injury, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You most likely do not have a case against them, unfortunately. Your OB-GYN can't restrict the number of hours or the type of tasks you you have to do--the doctor has no authority over the employer--and the fact that you're a manager doesn't mean that you can't be made to do non-managerial tasks. You choose to keep working despite working more than you had been told was safe for you; that voluntary choice on your part, to put your job ahead of health, makes the consequences legally your responsibility. (E.g. if someone with vertigo chooses to work in a construction or repair job where he/she has to climb ladders and falls as a result, that's not the employer's fault.) You could have used FMLA leave, if eligible; used PTO to cover absences; or if necessary quit the job, if it was bad for your health. Not doing those things, you can't sue the employer for the consequences of what you chose to do.

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