What To Do About Migraine at Work

Slide 1

Create a migraine-friendly workplace

It’s not easy to do your job with a migraine, but there are things you and your employer can do to help. Here’s how to ask for what you need when facing migraine attacks at work.

Slide 2

Know your rights

Migraine attacks that severely impact your ability to function at work may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA offers legal protections in the workplace for people with disabilities.

Slide 3

Request Workplace Accommodations

Under the ADA, people who suffer from disabling migraines can request “reasonable” accommodations at work. These could include:

  • Desk lamps instead of bright overhead lights

  • Unscented products in employee bathrooms

  • Noise blocking headphones

  • Schedule changes

Slide 4

Ask your employer for a flexible schedule

A flexible schedule allows you to prioritize your health when you experience a migraine attack. Schedule flexibility could look like this:

  • Working from home

  • working part time

  • Work outside normal office hours

Slide 5

talk about free time

Consult with HR about workplace policies regarding paid time off and leaves of absence. If you know you will need to take time off work to attend regular appointments with a healthcare provider (HCP), you can let Human Resources know.

Slide 6

Discuss disability

Your employer may offer short-term or long-term disability insurance, and the federal government offers benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

Whether your migraine illness is a disability is decided on a case-by-case basis. You can work with HR and your healthcare provider to see if you qualify.

Slide 7

Stock your workspace

Make sure you have medications and anything else you might need, such as cold compresses or sunglasses, on hand so you’re prepared if you experience a migraine attack at work.

Slide 8

Share your story

Unless you have experienced a migraine attack, it is difficult to understand how debilitating they can be. If you feel comfortable talking to your coworkers about your migraine experience, share your story.

Raising awareness about migraine can help build empathy and give coworkers information about how they can help you.

Slide 9

I know you are not alone

There’s no shame in trying hard to do your job when you’re suffering from a migraine attack. More than 9 in 10 people with migraine cannot work or function normally during an attack.

Slide 10

For more information

To learn more about migraine and how it affects your life at work (and anywhere else), visit:

  • Migraine Disorders Association

  • Healthy Women

This educational resource was created with the support of Pfiz.Ahem.


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