The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has updated the information on ME/CFS provided at its Job Accommodation Network website to align with the most current CDC guidance. This action will help workers and employers find accurate information on ME/CFS and combat stigma and improve workplace outcomes.
At #MEAction’s recent meeting with ODEP we notified them that their informational resource on “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” was out of date and not aligned with the most current information CDC has issued on ME/CFS. #MEAction compiled a detailed list of recommended changes for ODEP, including justification and government sources.
ODEP took our recommendations and made extensive updates including:
- Replaced references to “CFS” with the term “ME/CFS.”
- Updated the diagnostic criteria to match CDC (i.e. IOM instead of Fukuda).
- Inserted CDC guidance on managing ME/CFS hallmark symptom, post-exertional malaise (PEM), including how to recognize PEM and the importance of pacing.
- Insert additional language on the unpredictability, debility and severity of ME/CFS.
- Expanded the number of potential workplace limitations needing accommodation for ME/CFS that workers and employers can find information on.
- Added links to external resources including CDC’s ME/CFS healthcare provider toolkit, #MEAction’s Stop.Rest.Pace. Pacing Guide, as well as high-quality medical and work-related publications on ME/CFS.
- Removed outdated references to UK resources that did not reflect changes to NICE guidelines.
- Added new links to respected ME/CFS organizations including the Workwell foundation, U.S. ME/CFS Clinician Coalition, Bateman Horne Center, OMF and #MEAction.
You can view all the improvements to the ME/CFS webpage here.
The Job Accommodation Network’s website, AskJAN.org, is a leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues and is a service of the U.S. Dept. of Labor. JAN hosts many high-quality resources that workers with ME/CFS, Long COVID and other disabilities can make use of.
#MEAction will continue to advocate for the millions who are missing from meaningful careers and productive work because of the debilitating symptoms of ME/CFS, Long COVID and other complex, chronic conditions.