Job Sharing (5/97)


I am a 42 yr old pwcf. I have never worked more than 32 hours a week because of my CF and I have some experience with job sharing, plus ADA.

With job sharing, it really helps if you can in advance find another worker who is willing to job share with you. It is important to the employer to know the two of you can work as a team, who will take on which responsiblities, coverage etc.

If its at all possible in your work situation, you might want to start putting the word out to co-workers whom you have a good relationship with who also may be looking to go part-time. Then I would advise alot of communication and strategizing with them about how you could share job duties and how to present yourself to your boss as a dynamic team, i.e. two great workers for the price of one! It’s also important to talk in advance with your fellow job-sharer about how to handle work crises because when the blank hits the fan, the two of you need to be each other’s allies, instead of blaming and pointing the finger!

Not all fields lend themselves to job-sharing. I’ve worked in social services all my working life and its an area where job-sharing is an option. I have always felt job-sharing is an underutilized option, and a great one for those of us who can’t keep up with the full-time grind but still want to be a part of the work world.

As far as ADA goes, cystic fibrosis is a legit disability under the ADA. If you are already working, then you are looking at any job changes due to health concerns as reasonable accomodation. This could include flex-time, working at home, providing a smoke-free office etc. As long as the accomodations allow the continued performance of essential job functions. For example, I have a pulmo-aide and spare oxygen tank at work. On breaks I can do a treatment or use my extra tank if I run out of O2. This does not disturb any of my job functions, if anything it allows me to perform them better! I also will do an IV treatment of antibiotics at work when I am getting a clean-out. The ADA protects me from any discrimination, i.e. you can’t do that kind of stuff in the workplace, or you are too sick to work here. If you are looking for new employment, I would not disclose I had CF until after I was offered the position. Then, before you accept the position, tell the employer what your disability is and specifically what type of accomodations you may need. Unless you ask for something that again would prevent you from doing essential job functions, the employer cannot say something like “oh, my we didn’t know we would be dealing with this type of situation, sorry we’ll have to revoke our offer.” If that happens, under the ADA it’s lawsuit city time!!