Epilepsy Laws in the Us

If you are being discriminated against or helping someone who is, use the fact sheet(s) as an advocacy tool. Share them with employers, employees, educators, health professionals or lawyers – anyone who can help end discrimination against people with epilepsy. That depends. If conduct is an essential function of a workplace, an employer does not have to eliminate it. However, an employer should carefully consider whether the conduct is really an essential function, a marginal function or simply a way of performing an essential function. If there is accommodation that would allow an employee with epilepsy to perform a function that most workers would perform in a car, the employer must provide the accommodation short of undue hardship. If driving is a marginal (or non-essential) function, the fact that a person with epilepsy does not have a driver`s license cannot be used to deny them a job opportunity. Driving bans for people with seizure disorders are designed to ensure public safety, but driving is so important in the United States that the restrictions imposed can also unduly affect the well-being of these people. Given that driving bans in the past were based on expert advice rather than solid scientific evidence, the relevance and application of the standards for the approval of drivers with seizures continues to raise questions and concerns, as does the role that physicians should play in this process. Conduct is an important and complex practical concern for physicians who may treat people with epilepsy or act as advisors to regulatory bodies, as they need to be well informed about relevant issues in order to properly treat their patients and protect themselves from prosecution.

Results: Twenty-eight states, including the District of Columbia, have laws requiring epilepsy patients to be seizure-free for individual fixed periods, with an average restriction of six months (3 to 12 month interval). Twenty-three states have adopted more flexible approaches to restricting conduct, such as different seizure-free restrictions based on individual clinical factors. Many states allow patients to drive after shorter seizure-free periods than those set out in their laws. However, these practices are generally novel and difficult to access. The doctors helped determine when their patients are allowed to drive in 13 states and were not protected by law for their evaluations in six of those states. 4 See General About Epilepsy, www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/ and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/epilepsy/index.htm. 7. Are there other instances where an employer may ask an employee with epilepsy questions about her condition? Today, all states in the United States allow people with controlled seizures to drive (2,3). Special legal rules for determining and managing driver`s licenses are a complex and often confusing mix of federal and state laws, regulations, and local practices that vary widely across the country (2,3).

In general, the rules attempt to limit licensing for people whose epilepsy puts them at the greatest risk of seizures while driving. The main norm for determining this risk is the seizure-free interval, which is the time a person has spent without a seizure (2,3). Essentially, the standard states that a person with a history of seizures or epilepsy can drive if that person has not had seizures for a period of time sufficient to prove that the recurrence of the seizure while driving is sufficiently unlikely. Some states give doctors the option, on a case-by-case basis, to recommend a certain seizure-free time or other requirements before issuing a licence to a driver with epilepsy, but these doctors generally recommend seizure-free intervals similar and other standards to those of states with less discretionary rules (3). 8 treatment options: medication, www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/seizure-medication-list To obtain a driver`s license in most U.S. states, a person with epilepsy must be free of seizures that impair consciousness for a period of time. The period without seizure varies from state to state. When motor vehicles were first introduced to the public in the late 1800s, certain conditions, including epilepsy, were identified as driving hazards (4). When permits became mandatory, people with seizures or epilepsy were among those with illnesses that were routinely excluded from consideration. However, by the late 1940s, it became clear that many people with epilepsy no longer had seizures over time or that seizures could be fully controlled with medication, and so these patients were potentially safe drivers (4). The determination of seizure control, which is sufficient to permit a driver`s licence, is largely based on time without seizure, but other factors have been and are being taken into account (see Tables 1 and 2)2) (3,4,7). 18.

Can an employer require an employee who has suffered a seizure at work to regularly produce notes from his or her physician demonstrating that his or her epilepsy is under control? No. Granting leave to a worker who is unable to specify a fixed return date may be a reasonable arrangement. Although epilepsy can often be successfully controlled, due to the frequency or severity of their seizures, some people may need to take a longer leave of absence and provide only an approximate return date (e.g., « six to eight weeks from now », « about three months »). In such situations, or in situations where a return date has to be postponed due to unforeseen medical developments, workers should remain in regular contact with their employers to update them on their progress and discuss the need to continue the leave beyond what was initially granted. The employer also has the right to ask the employee to inform him regularly of his condition and the possible date of return. Upon receipt of these updates, the employer may reassess whether the continuation of the leave would amount to undue hardship. 10. What other types of reasonable precautions may employees with epilepsy need? There may be other restrictions depending on a person`s risk, and laws may vary from state to state.

Check your state DMV for applicable laws and how to apply for a CDL. In the United States, commercial driving restrictions for people with seizures or epilepsy differ from those for the use of private vehicles (20). Federal regulations explicitly prohibit the intergovernmental commercial driver`s license for people with epilepsy, unless that person has been without seizure medication and seizures for at least 10 years (20). A person with a single unprovoked seizure should be without seizure medication and without seizure for at least 5 years. Currently, people taking anticonvulsant medications are unconditionally prohibited from obtaining a commercial driver`s license between states (20, 21). State laws for domestic business conduct (i.e., not across state borders) have gradually moved to the federal standard (20, 21). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adheres to ADA employment regulations. This document, part of a series of question and answer documents that address specific disabilities in the workplace,3 explains how the ADA applies to applicants and employees with epilepsy. This document specifically states: Yes. An employer may also ask an employee questions about epilepsy if they have reason to believe that because of the epilepsy, the employee will not be able to safely perform the essential duties of their job.

In addition, an employer may ask an employee about her epilepsy as long as the information is required: epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. It is also known as seizure disorder.4 A seizure occurs when abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes an involuntary change in body movement or function, sensation, consciousness or behavior. People diagnosed with epilepsy have had at least two seizures and may have had more than one type of seizure. A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people recover immediately from a seizure, while others may be dizzy and drowsy for a while after an attack.

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