The people to contact:

Governor.Taft@das.state.oh.us

Sam.Speck@dnr.state.oh.us

I was formerly a person is on Social Security Disability and receiving maybe $7,000 per year in cash benefits and another $5,000 per year in Medicare benefits. I also received Food Stamps and Medicaid at the tune of another $5,000 a year or so. On top of that, I received BVR assistance to go back to school, utility discounts, property tax discounts, HEAP, commodities, etc. etc. to the tune of probably another $5,000 per year or so.

Social Security provides incentives to get go back to work. I wanted to go back to work. I went to college and obtained an education that will allow me to work in a profession capable of accommodating her disability.

I then get a job with the State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources. I work hard. I am an exemplary employee. I get two promotions in less than 5 years. My income jumps from $7,000 (on Social Security) to $50,000 with full medical coverage.

Do you know what this means?

The government and, thus, its citizens got a great worker--one who went way above and beyond the call of duty--and still managed to come out ahead by a minimum of $28,000 per year ($7,000 not being taken out of Social Security in benefits + $5,000 not being taken out of Medicare in benefits + $5,000 not being taken out for Food Stamps and Medicaid + $5,000 not being taken out via discounts and low-income programs + $6,000 upward going into federal, state and local income tax.

All of this sounds pretty darned good, doesn�t it?

Well, forget it.

My health took a turn for the worse (although perhaps not a permanent turn) and I asked for an accommodation that would cost the State of Ohio nothing--to work at home 10-30% of my time. (Yes, you heard it�not one thin dime.) My employer responded by initiating computing policies that disallowed the accommodation, stripped me of supervisory duties, forced me to take a less satisfactory and more costly set of accommodations that prevented me from fully doing my job, and then set about on a campaign of verbal and civil harassment against me which later led to the point of falsely accused me of a variety of wrongdoings ((computing in nature--anybody want to guess why) after I filed both an informal and formal EEO complaint within the state�s own system. They have now brought disciplinary action to fire me based on this campaign.

Due to this overt stress, my health deteriorated to the point that my doctor wanted me to go out on disability leave to stabilize my health before continuing this debate with my employer. But�, even then�, my employer continued, and still continues, to fling retaliatory paperwork at me to the point of bankrupting my family.

What is it with these employers?

To make matters worse, since I'm a state employee, my employer is protected by the 11th amendment (state rights); I cannot sue for monetary damages under ADA.

Joetta Bragg