Laser eye surgery

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Drh78

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A while ago now I was offered a job as a trainee train driver with a well known TOC. I knew they didn't accept applicants who had the surgery, but I wanted the job and went for it. I got through the paper sift (disclosing the surgery) got through the first lot of tests and was invited to the driver managers interview. One of the last questions was "Have you ever had laser eye surgery?" Without hesitation I answered "Yes". They said no one ever answered yes and couldn't answer me when I asked if it would end my application. A day or two later I was told I'm through to the next stage. Passed everything that followed including the medical. I handed my notice in (in a good job with a safe career) and a week before my start date, just days before I was due to finish in my job, I got a call to say they had withdrawn my offer because of my laser eye surgery.
I've since looked into it on from my understanding in the RSSB drivers can have surgery. Quote from RSSB 'European requirements
The Conventional Rail TSI Traffic Operation and Management and the Directive on the licensing and certification of drivers permits laser eye surgery for train drivers subject to annual examinations or at intervals set by the occupational doctor'.
What I want to know is 'What's the difference between me having successful laser eye surgery, and a current driver having surgery?'
'If a driver had surgery would he/she lose their job?'
'Why am I being treated differently?'

In my eyes (no pun intended) this is complete discrimination.

My eyes are healthy and to a high standard of vision and I currently do a job where you need good eyesight.

Can anyone help me on this?

Why do some TOC's accept applications from people who have undergone surgery and some don't? You still drive trains and in the same country.

I find this extremely frustrating.

How can I challenge this ridiculous decision?
 
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ComUtoR

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How can I challenge this ridiculous decision?

I'm sure the TOC don't see it as a ridiculous decision. If you have passed all the tests and the medical then why not apply to a TOC that does accept Laser Surgery.

I knew they didn't accept applicants who had the surgery, but I wanted the job and went for it. I got through the paper sift (disclosing the surgery) got through the first lot of tests and was invited to the driver managers interview. One of the last questions was "Have you ever had laser eye surgery?" Without hesitation I answered "Yes".

You failed to meet the criteria for the role as provided by the TOC. Ergo they have rightfully withdrawn your offer. This was your fault.

They said no one ever answered yes and couldn't answer me when I asked if it would end my application.

No one answers yes because they met the criteria (or lied) There are many stages to go through and it filters out people at each stage. Discovering this vital information late in the process was unfortunate but essential. They couldn't offer an answer because it needed to go through the relevant departments to make the final decision.

A day or two later I was told I'm through to the next stage. Passed everything that followed including the medical. I handed my notice in (in a good job with a safe career) and a week before my start date, just days before I was due to finish in my job, I got a call to say they had withdrawn my offer because of my laser eye surgery.

They will keep you going through the process because it is different departments dealing with each stage. A decision was made by another department on your job offer but the guys performing the medical simply processed you.
 

Drh78

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I was sent a conditional offer of contract, that being I pass the medical which I did.
 

Kit.Frank

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Which TOC did you apply for? And which type of laser eye surgery did you have? I was of the understanding that most accept both of the most popular forms of surgery (Lasik and Lasek).
 

greatkingrat

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The RSSB standards are a minimum, TOCs are free to require higher standards if they wish, just like some TOCs require an enhanced mark in the Group Bourdon test.
 

AlterEgo

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I think we'd need to know a great deal more about your conditional offer of a contract and exactly what it said before we could advise further.

1) The TOC isn't going to employ you. You need to accept this.
2) Depending on the offer, you may or may not have a case to take the issue to tribunal. You should get legal advice on this.

You should never ever hand your notice in unless you get an unconditional job offer.
 
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JohnFM

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What I want to know is 'What's the difference between me having successful laser eye surgery, and a current driver having surgery?'
'If a driver had surgery would he/she lose their job?'
'Why am I being treated differently?'

In my eyes (no pun intended) this is complete discrimination.

My eyes are healthy and to a high standard of vision and I currently do a job where you need good eyesight.

Can anyone help me on this?

How can I challenge this ridiculous decision?

You need to understand the issues involved.

The TOC's can choose who they wish to employ. They can take the person who is fully fit and is happy to wear spectacles if required rather than take on someone who has had laser eye surgery.

Existing drivers are a different entity as they have already had a fortune spent in training them and they are subjected to regular screenings and assessments. Why take on a newbie who needs this expensive monitoring when they can choose someone who does not need this?

Someone who is visually fit is a known commodity. No issues.
Someone who wears spectacles is a known commodity. No issues.
Someone who has had LASIK or LASEK eye surgery is a completely unknown commodity due to complex medical issues that can, and do, crop up later on.

Notice the highlighted bit - people do have issues, which is why aircrew in the military are not allowed eye surgery as well as train drivers. It is well known for post op people to suffer sudden eyesight issues that will not be picked up soon enough on driver medicals. Recent evidence is suggesting that modern procedures are being tolerated better and seem to last longer but until the studies reveal proper evidence this is just anecdotal at the moment.

The TOC's are free to choose and they choose the folk with the least amount of obvious risks.

You knew that they did not accept applicants who had laser eye surgery but applied anyway. There is no case for complaint they simply withdrew the offer based on medical recommendations, which they are perfectly free to do.
 
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WCMLaddict

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I'll step out of the line a bit.

I think you should take it up directly with the TOC HR. At my depot we had a trainee driver in your situation, they did declare everything, got the job, passed the medical, finished training.

They were taken off trains later on when they mentioned it to DTM during conversation. The driver didn't think they did anything wrong as they always disclosed it and never denied having the surgery. From what I remember it was not one of the LASEK LASIK.

It took the driver few months to get their licence back but they are now driving without problems. From what I remember, they had to look for medical evidence to back their ability to meet the standard.
 

JohnFM

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Your anecdote it misleading.

Just because one person got through, due to a mistake in medical fitness checks, does not mean that another failed application can be pushed through.

A check was done - they were found to be medically unfit at the correct stage in the employment process. There is nothing that can be presented which mitigates what is well known as a potent medical risk factor.

You can print off a thousand trees worth of "evidence" from Google which state that LASIK or LASEK is "safe" but not one single doctor on the planet will sign you as fit against what is known in the regulations. The Doctor faces losing his registration with the GMC if that trainee is involved in an incident later on. Regs are there for a reason based upon previous experience and medical knowledge.
 
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JohnFM

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Your anecdote is misleading. The individual you mention got through and completed training.

The OP has not even started.
 

bob hope

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Check your acceptance/offer letter from HR.

Did it say something along the lines of - "we hereby make you a conditional offer following the successful completion of criminal records checks, receipt of employment references, and passing a medical"

Or did it say - "we hereby make you an unconditional offer"

If the offer was unconditional then you should pursue it further.

If the offer was only conditional - then I'm afraid I think you are knackered
 

ComUtoR

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It doesn't make a difference what kind of offer you had. Even if you pass everything and are employed you are still under probation and an employer can remove you from duty for various reasons.

It's worth asking their HR department but don't go in all guns blazing and clearly on a rant as that will often get you nowhere.

You took a risk and it didn't pan out and you ONLY have yourself to blame. Give them a FRIENDLY call. I hope they change their mind but I doubt it.
 
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