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Police Officer Told Cant Work With PTSD & A Single Dad Now Without A Job

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bamafan98, Jun 16, 2009.

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  1. bamafan98

    bamafan98 New Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    I am really needing some help here. I have PTSD and am a police officer in Tennessee. My job just fired me saying I could not have PTSD and be a police officer. I was officer of the year last year and have never acted out at work. I contacted POST and they advised you can have PTSD and be a police officer but would do nothing past this. Is there anything out there that can help me save my job? I am a single father of a six year old and this is a very bad situation.. PLEASE HELP
  2. Mina

    Mina I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Hi, Bamafan, and welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry to hear about what your department did. :mad: That is super crappy, and I wonder if it isn't also illegal in some way. Is there any sort of police union or association you can contact? I am married to a police officer (I'm the one with PTSD, not him). His old department had a union, and one of their functions was to protect and defend officers in situations like yours. You might also consider contacting an experienced attorney, or the ACLU. Another place to post your question would be over at forums.officer.com/forums (no www in front of that) - there are a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful LEOs there.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
  3. firehouse9south

    firehouse9south Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Hey Fan.

    I'm a firefighter with PTSD and it is directly realated to my job.
    I got an attorney, filed a claim and had it approved as a on the job injury through
    workman's compinsation.
    I'm still working but it's a challange.
    So when they say you can't be a cop with PTSD that's straight up wrong, I have
    a few cop friends who have it also and there still working the streets
    with me.
    Don't take any sxxt and fight for what is right.

    Take care.

  4. TLight

    TLight I'm a VIP

    Mar 7, 2008
    Just want to say I'm so sorry for the situation you are in. It must be stressful, especially when you have your little girl to support.

    I have PTSD from childhood abuse. The fact that you still want to be a cop and that FireHouse is still a firefighter just amazes me. To me, it's like dealing with this disorder and all the triggering and still being around people like my family on a daily basis. I must be honest, this would definately put me over an edge that I don't want to go to.

    But the fact that you and Fire still want to do the work you are doing is a personal right. You should definately stand up for your rights, but also be aware of your possible limitations.

    I would say that a good employment lawyer would snap this one up on contingency.

    Good luck and keep in touch. There is a ton of support here for you when you need it.
  5. Shoka

    Shoka Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2009

    It does seem illegal that they've fired you. I'd talk to a labor attorney if I were you.

  6. 9-1-1

    9-1-1 New Member

    Aug 17, 2009
    I'm facing your same firing squad. I'm being threatened with a "fitness for duty" which I'm told will decide my fate. Mine is clearly job related and I feel abandoned by the people that should be sticking up for me. I feel for you!
  7. Medic72

    Medic72 I'm a VIP

    Aug 31, 2008
    Hey, my viewpoint is from another country but I know officers diagnosed with PTSD who still work. The workers compensation issues were tough to deal with and many said they would have rather given up but they kept fighting.
    I think going to your union AND talking to a lawyer with the support of a good trauma therapist will help. This is a work related 'injury'.
    Being a medic, this is not something I am 'supposed' to suffer from - all it took was one interview with the workers comp people for them to see that I was severely affected by my work related 'incident'.
    I am currently off work, receiving benefits and working to get back on the job.
    Good luck.
  8. SunnyBrookFarm

    SunnyBrookFarm I'm a VIP

    Apr 16, 2009
    I agree - sounds like this was handled completely wrong. I would contact the ACLU immediately (like today). I have seen them come into my community for far lesser causes.

    Do you have any STD or LTD coverage? If so - I would file a claim (can't hurt to try).

    Lastly, you should file for unemployment (while you are waiting on these other resources). I know that you said you were "fired" but having PTSD is not being fired for cause. You are eligible as long as you were not fired for cause - and they would have a very difficult time proving otherwise.

    Please keep us updated and I'll continue to think on this to see if I come up with any other resources.
  9. Tessa

    Tessa I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Jul 5, 2009
    I have diagnosed PTSD from a work related incident and am on workers comp. I completed a graded return to work and now work full time. I have my moments however I have the support of a psychologist, recommended by a psychiatrist. I find it helps and I love my job.
    I really hope this can be sorted for you as it is not fair to leave you without support and finance.
    Take care
  10. hero2zero

    hero2zero New Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    Another option would be to file a complaint with the Federal EEOC (www.eeoc.gov). PTSD is recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you have documentation from the department citing the fact that you could no longer be employed because of PTSD, then there is a very good possibility that you were discriminated against. You also have the option of contacting your State Human Relations Commission. Both agencies only allow a small window of time to file a complaint (without looking, I believe it's 180 days).

    There are huge numbers of cops who work with clinically-treated PTSD every day. The ones who scare me are the ones who work with undiagnosed, untreated or self-medicated PTSD.

    You have laws on your side, my friend. Good luck.
  11. 2quilt

    2quilt I'm a VIP

    Jul 17, 2007
    Can you receive disability benefits from the police dept? From SSA?
    I think they are trampling on your employment rights, if you really want to work, make them document that--you will need that documentation later when you apply for Soc sec Disability. The good news is, with disability and workman's comp, you can spend more time with your baby boy.
  12. hero2zero

    hero2zero New Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but Police Officers around here don't pay into Social Security, therefore we are not eligible for disability benefits. The only way we would be eligible is if we had secondary employment aside from police work, or enough credits from past private sector employment.

    In this situation, it seems the agency is denying that the PTSD is duty-related, therefore he would not be eligible for workers comp. Unless, of course, he is able to prove the PTSD was caused by the job. That is generally a long process through workers' comp court.

    Unemployment benefits may be the only short-term option. But I would definitely pursue the legal (EEOC) angle for discrimination under the ADA.

    With this situation, considering there are children involved, EEOC has the option of placing a "priority" on the discrimination claim. Their investigators will work on your behalf, so there is generally no need for a private attorney.
  13. southernfire

    southernfire New Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    I am so very sorry. I was turned down from the Secret Service for the very same reason. Now I talk to a counselor, but I have to do it with cash on the side so that insurance does not get wind of this or it will follow me for life. There are laws in place to protect this. You also cannot be the first officer this is happened to, ask some trusted long-timers and see who else they know that you could talk to who has been through this process. Best of luck and support my friend.
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