Posts Tagged ‘ADA’

HR tutorial on handling Depression at work

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

New from your friends in the legal-averse HR industry: a webinar for HR folks on how to avoid granting (un)paid leave or making federal law mandated accommodations for people with mental disabilities called depression.

Session title: “Depression in the Workplace”

A rational person would think the session would be led by a psychologist, but nooo, it’s an attorney from the Eyres Law Group. Of course, if you or I non-attorneys professed to opine on subjects delving into the application of laws, we would be accused of an illegal act. But attorneys believe mental health and psychology are something not requiring any training or specialization.

The webinar topic list is upsetting, given what we know about the trauma that workplace bullying causes. And the fact that 49% of bullied individuals suffer clinical depression for the first time in their lives at the hands of an abuser at work!

Look at these webinar goals:

• How to tell if a depressed employee is “disabled” under the ADA’s mental impairment definition (WBI: the only thing worse than attorneys playing psychologist is HR doing the same. Yikes!)

• Whether depression is generally a “covered” disability if it’s the result of an underlying medical condition or due to an emotional trauma (WBI: which, of course, would never be caused BY the workplace)

• The medical inquires, limited examinations, and documentation you may legally request that the employee provide in support of a need for leave as accommodation (WBI: here’s where employers hire their own hack shrink who conducts an “independent” medical exam guaranteed to conclude that the problem is not real, these medical professionals rarely practice outside employer panels)

• How to respond to erratic attendance and persistent tardiness, including when to raise potential FMLA leave as an option (WBI: FMLA, in most cases is unpaid leave forcing workers to stay on the job against their physicians’ advice)

• How to successfully manage intermittent leave for chronic depression and curb potential FMLA abuse related to depressed workers (WBI: yes, abuse of unpaid leave is surely a chronic problem in the American laborforce that works more hours than workers in any other industrialized nation because there is no paid sick leave policies and leaves must be begged for. This smells like employer paranoia. Too bad employers don’t have to answer yet for real abuse, abuse of employees!)

• When you may legally discipline or terminate an employee with depression without sparking liability under federal disability and leave laws (WBI: Ah yes, the real agenda — how to fire the harmed employee.)


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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »

Let’s Talk with Kalola: Autistic Man Bullied at Work

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Dear Kalola,

Ok, I need advice.

My son is a young autistic man and has been employed in a private club in Birmingham, AL. When he began employment 4 years ago, the club agreed to communicate with his job coach about his performance. During the last 2 years, he has complained of workplace bullying, being yelled at, and ridiculed in front of other employees. He has been sent home and written up.

The club has refused comment regarding our attempts to communicate and will not return phone calls and emails to either his job coach or myself.

He was fired last week.  As this is a private club he is not protected by the ADA, which may explain why they refuse to deal with his job coach.

Alabama has no law to prevent this type of behavior and a cause of action would be difficult to prove, because of the difficulty of getting a current employee to testify.

Any advice?



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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Let's Talk with Kalola | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Let’s Talk with Kalola: Bully Crosses the Line

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Dear Kalola,

I was the assistant to a manager of a large department in a department store. I had nothing but good reviews, got along great with my boss and with her boss. One day her boss was promoted and her replacement moved in from another store. He had formerly been the manager of our department before my boss. He came in being mean to me and my boss.

I have lupus and a seizure disorder.  The new boss was advised by HR not to put me under fluorescent lights for prolonged periods because I had notes from my doctors.  He would make me stand at the registers all day or until I'd have a seizure, even though it wasn't my job. Once he grabbed my arm so hard he left bruises just because I said "hi' to one of the associates. He would time me in the mornings, set impossible limits on my crossing the building doing tasks.

My lupus flared from all the exposure to stress and lights and I had difficulty walking. He would trap me in his office and scream at me and spit in my face. He would make me move heavy boxes, once I had to move 80 cases of cosmetic gifts down a flight of stairs. I became so sick I could hardly walk or think. I would spend my lunch breaks alone crying in my car.

I went to HR every few days. They would talk to him and he would retaliate for me talking to them. I even went to corporate HR, they finally moved me, but cut my pay. HR ended up standing up for him to protect their company.

After I was moved he still found ways to harass me. My coworkers were afraid to be friends with me for fear they would become a target by association. My doctors took me out on medical leave and I've been out since. I'm told there are no anti-bullying laws where I live so there is nothing I can do. He has done this to others and is doing it to more people now. I do wish I had filed assault charges when he grabbed me.



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Posted in Let's Talk with Kalola | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

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