MJH News March 2019

Medical Journal - Houston Page 12 March 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

be advisable to ask the employee whether he or she has seen a doctor and, if so, to provide supporting documentation, to determine whether the employee indeed has a qualifying medical condition. • Since various mental health conditions also constitute disabilities, employers must be especially vigilant in situations where an employee’s alertness, hypersensitivity, mood swings or apparent confusion become issues in the workplace. While employers are never required to tolerate violent behavior at work, they may have to consider accommodations that would reduce the effects of an employee’s mental health condition. While no single “magic answer” will resolve every scenario, it is imperative for employers to avoid jumping to conclusions before obtaining sufficient information to make a reasonable assessment. When potential FMLA or ADA situations may exist, employee health or HR representatives should seek medical documentation that is relevant to the circumstances. Under the FMLA and especially under the ADA, the process of interactively conferring with the employee and considering alternatives is often just as important as the employer’s ultimate decision. Stated another way, a decision that may pass muster when supported by evidence of meaningful communication and thoughtful analysis may not withstand scrutiny when viewed in isolation, without supporting documentation. In these situations, the word “obvious” should be stricken from managers’ vocabulary. t board certified in family medicine, and her clinical interests include preventive care, minor procedures as well as diagnosis and management of various conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, asthma and thyroid concerns.

care decisions. A court found that this time off was indeed covered by the FMLA. FMLA/ADA issues can crop up unexpectedly in a variety of situations, which is the reason why even the most seemingly outlandish absences or accommodation requests require employers to follow a methodical information- gathering, review and determination process. Managers must also keep in mind that an employee is not required to explicitly ask for an “accommodation” in order to put the employer on notice of its possible legal obligation. Hospitals must sometimes recognize the need for accommodation or FMLA leave, even in the absence of a request. The employer’s duty can arise when it knows, or has reason to know, that an employee is experiencing workplace problems or absences because of a disability or a probable FMLA-covered condition. Some examples are illustrative: When an employee needed time off from work for a reported “bad sunburn,” it turned out that she had sun poisoning, her face was swollen, and her absence was at least arguably covered by the FMLA. • In a more bizarre situation, an employee was reportedly concerned that they had contracted a “monkey disease” by viewing a sick animal at the zoo. Regardless of how such facts ultimately play out, this is the type of situation in which it would HR INSIGHTS continued from page 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MOVING ON UP continued from page 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • bed facility in Houston. During her time as CNO, the hospital achieved several national recognitions including Pathway to Excellence, bariatric center of excellence, primary

Ope graduated from the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and continued studying medicine at Ross University School of Medicine in Bridgetown, Barbados, where she received her medical degree. She completed her family medicine residency at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

stroke certification and the American Heart and Stroke Association’s Gold Mission Lifeline Award. Asisat Ope, M.D. joins Houston Methodist Primary Care Group at Sugar Land

Asisat Ope, M.D., family medicine

Ope said, “I firmly believe that a healthy body fuels a healthy mind, and I am excited to provide integrative and holistic care, along with health education, for individuals and families.” t

Houston Methodist Primary Care Group is pleased to welcome Asisat Ope, M.D. to the Sugar Land practice located at 16605 Southwest Freeway, Medical Office Building 3, Suite 400 on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus. Ope’s new office offers patients added convenience, with on-site access to advanced and specialized care fromHouston Methodist’s leading network of hospitals and specialty physicians. Ope provides acute, chronic and primary care for women, men, and children. She is


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