I am the original poster and wanted to follow up. The situation got progressively worse, and I ended up developing heat induced Eczema . I used to get a bit of Eczema on my eyelids once every few years, and had heat rashes as a baby, but never had it so bad I had to seek medical treatment. My arms and neck broke out in an itchy rash that became scaly and scabbed. It would only come on when I was in the office, when I was on vacation it went away. I took pictures and got a doctors note and actually showed HR. They took note and miraculously the building was able to get my office at a steady 70 degrees for the rest of the winter. In the summertime it stayed cool.
But here we are again and it's 85 degress consistently for the last two weeks. I got stern this time and told them they had one of four options
- Maintain the office at a temp below 75 (which I know they can do)
- Purchase me a portable AC unit
- Allow me to open a window or
- I will work remotely entirely.
It seems that 4 is the only option and so that's what I am doing. My boss is not objecting. This time no one disagrees that the temp in my office is unbearable. However, the answer seems to be that others are cold and so I just have to suffer. I should mention others are underdressed for the weather, and able to use office provided space heaters, but so be it. My experience has been that they give preference to those that are cold. If they do give me a hard time I will be filing a workers' compensation case with my doctor's back up.
I also have asked for a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition, so if they take away my ability to remote work I will fight with them. The doctor said that often people that have this condition do not regulate heat in the same way, instead of sweating they develop the rash and to them 70 feels like 80 which is why at 80 I was feeling so bad, it felt like 80 or 100 to my body.
I should mention I am a lawyer who practices in the field of Workers' Compensation defense, so yea they don't really seem to care that I am roasting in there and should know better but they don't. They are not trying to push me out, they promoted me. I think the bottom line is that in order to keep my office comfortable they have to freeze more people out so the majority wins out, or they would have to redo the entire HVAC system which is not feasible for them right now. It will never be fixed, so I am setting up my home office.