Fucking nutless HR department

Okay, I’m sincerely pissed. Where I work for money its not a terribly high stress environment. We sit at a desk, talk to people on the phone, and tell them now to make their computer work. Nothing too hard, just type a few notes on to the computer, talk to people, kick back and relax. One of my bullshit coworkers has a “medical condition” that requires her to spend more time off of the phone.

What kind of bullshit is this?! When shes not on the phone she just sits there and reads a book. How the hell is it that she gets to sit there and read a book instead of talking on the phone? How the hell is talking on the phone more stressful than not talking on the phone? She spends hours on end not on the phone, and getting paid to sit there and read her book. how the hell do I get hooked up like this?

Okay, and if she does happen to have a medical problem that means she has to do her job only 4 hrs out of a 10 hr day, what the hell is she doing here? Police departments dont have cops that cant drive a car – Firefighters have to be able to drag hose and fight fires, why the hell would you have someone who works for you who only really works half of the day!

And sense shes not doing her job, thats more calls for myself and my team members having to work even more. Lets hire someone who will be on the phone for the whole 10 hour shift!

For gods sake, do your job woman!

Sounds like maybe your co-worker falls under the ADA – there might not be anything your HR department can do about it.

It sure must be annoying to watch her read all day though.

Too bad she can’t do something that would benefit your employer – we used to have a clerk whose job was simply reading newspapers and clipping articles related to the industry. Maybe you could suggest that to someone? Might not be so aggravating if your co-worker were reading technical stuff, instead of – what does she read? Anything good?

I feel for ya man,

I do the same job as you only there is a woman who has been on “leave of Absence” for the past year. She shows up for about a week every month or so. When she is here, she insists on re-training and shadowing everytime she comes in. The thing that sucks is, she has a higher seniority thatn me, since she has been employed longer. She gets the schedule I want regadless of wether she is coming in or not. So I have to come in earlier due to call volume.

If she can’t do the job, get something easier. but I don’t think there is anything easier than this job.

Disclaimer up front, I dont know the ADA act very well…

But for gods sake! There is a difference between someone who has a disability and needs assistance to be able to do their job, and someone who just simply dosent do it. We have larger monitors for those who have bad eyesight, move desks to allow for physical handicaps, and in general do everything that can be done for someone to do a good job.

If you just need assistance to do the job, thats one thing. But to just not do your job for hours a day, vacate the seat so we can get someone here to do the job!

What kind of medical condition does your coworker have, and what does your job involve?

Does the ADA actually require employers to hire someone who simply can’t do the job? How much sense does it make (warning: hyperbole representing an ‘extreme’ case) to hire an armless man to unload trucks? Why can’t she talk on the phone? Carpal tunnel? Get her a handless phone or something.

All I know about the ADA and employment law in general is that we’re deathly afraid of violating anything. :slight_smile:

When we interview, we tell each applicant (in general) what the job requires and ask if they can do it. If they say they can, then we have to hire them, unless we have a good reason not to. And the reason can’t be related to physical ability – it has to be experience, work history, stuff like that – something objective.

We aren’t allowed to ask specific questions about their health or their physical condition.

In the last year, we’ve hired a man over 60 with a recent heart transplant, and a man with multiple prior back surgeries.

The first guy worked out fine, although he’s expensive – our group medical pays $600 a month just for his medications. But the guy with the back problems hurt himself the second day on the job, and has been receiving workers comp for several months. We can’t fire him.

We receive applications from people we know have medical or mental problems – but if we don’t hire them, when we’re audited by the OCCP, we’d better be able to prove that their health issues weren’t the reason we didn’t take them.

If the person can’t do the job, we can let them go during their probation, but we have to show that we spent extra time with them, tried them on different tasks, etc.

Once they’re past probation, we can let them go for physical reasons but only after they’ve been off work for two years and their doctor says there’s no hope of return. That’s remarkably difficult – it’s only happened a couple of times.

You’d think that someone with health issues wouldn’t even apply for factory work, but they do. The money’s hard to resist.

Wow, what a bitch to just get rid of someone who dosent fucking do their job! If I wasent intelligent enough to do a job, there would be no problem with me getting fired. If I wasnet skilled enough to do a job, there would be no problem getting me fired, but if I have a physical disability that prevents me from doing a job, the employer is expected to put up with my ass and find a way to get me to work? What kind of Bullshit is that? If it was something as simple as a large monitor, or a trackball instead of a mouse I could understand, but someone who only takes phone calls 5 hours out of a 10 hour day…what bullshit!

The ADA is one of those laws that had their heart in the right place, but in practice it has fucked up many situations. It has also resulted in the creation of some of the stupidest job descriptions on applications I’ve ever seen. Such as:
Scene Shop Foreman- Applicant MUST be able to use and oversee SAFE use of power tools including power saws, power drills, welding equipment, etc, etc. Must be able to lift heavy objects. Must be able to use hammer and nails.

I hate to think what would happen to a publisher that hired someone dyslexic as a proofreader.

As you can see by my post count, I don’t post much. But I do lurk a lot. However, this topic is one that hits close to home for me.

I have a profound hearing loss that is somewhat correctible through assistive devices. The ADA requires that businesses make reasonable accomodations for me so that I can do my job. These reasonable accomdations used to take the form of a volume control phone until my hearing progressed to the point where I could no longer use the phone. When it got to that point if my employer felt that the phone was an integral part of my job they could have let me go for not being able to perform my job. I’ve found that most employers will bend over backwards to help you out, and I suspect that many times it’s because they fear an ADA lawsuit. My employer hasn’t not had any problems with letting me communicate by e-mail and having others make calls for me if needed. However I’m a computer programmer and my job is not primarily one of phone support. If it was, I couldn’t do it. And I personally wouldn’t expect an employer to carry me in a job I couldn’t do.

Sorry this is long, but my point is that the ADA was not designed to foster job abuse like this (and to my mind this is job abuse). I think what your employer needs to do is find out what accomodations it can make so that this woman can do the job. If no accomodations can be made I suspect your employer has the right to transfer her to something she can do or to terminate her employment. Obviously, in today’s environment they’ll have to document the process to avoid any repurcussions. This sort of thing makes it harder for people with disabilities to be taken seriously as job applicants.

The ADA does NOT require a company to hire some one with a disability that cannot do the job. What it DOES require is that the company make REASONABLE accomodations to the person to allow them to continue working (or in the case of a new hire, allow them to work) the person must still be able to complete the essential functions of the job.
the term “reasonable” is not closely defined, since it may mean different things in different situations. With one employee I had, I had to purchase a $30 device to allow that employee to effectively use the phone. A $30 device is a reasonable accomodation. to have required my small company to re do the entire phone system might not have been.

I knew of a factory that refused to hire people who were shorter than 5’5", because they couldn’t reach the controls of the machines. It apparently (and until the lawsuit) never occured to them to provide steps to stand on to allow shorter people to reach.

We’re fighting ignorance here. Before you start griping about armless folks being required to be hired as unloaders, try and have some idea of the acutal law?

As far as the OP. I personally don’t know of any particular medical condition that would fit the situation. But then, I’m not a doctor. And I would tend to believe that a company will require medical proof of any disability before making accomodations.

You sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Could it be our lawyers aren’t interpreting the law correctly?

After someone’s hired, we can ask if they have a disability requiring accommodation. We explain “disability” and “accommodation.” No one has ever answered Yes to this question, and we’ve hired around 4,000 people over the last three years.

We’ve found jobs in the plant for employees who are legally blind, deaf, missing fingers, speak and read no English, and we have 20 handicapped parking spots (they’re always full). We can’t accommodate wheelchairs or crutches, but we’d have no problem finding a job for someone who was missing an arm or leg.

The employees who are frustrating us are the new ones with prior back injuries and continuing carpal tunnel problems that they got somewhere else. I’m sure some of these folks have been illegally fired from other jobs, or they’ve been paid a permanent disability and the money’s run out, and they have to work somewhere.

They shouldn’t be working in a factory setting. The few “light duty” jobs we have are taken by employees with seniority, who’ve given 20 or 30 years of their working lives to the company.

Are our lawyers wrong when they tell us we’re stuck with these new people who can’t do anything?

Maybe we need new lawyers.

You might want to have them research this subject. PRE HIRE, provide a specific list of essential job functions to each candidate. There may be a physical test/exam that you could provide, passing such a test would be a pre-employment requirement. I’ve also seen employers provide the list of essential job functions and have the employee certify that they are able to do these with or without accomodations. then, if you had some one who “oops” forgot that their prior carpal tunnel would prevent them from performing the same rotary movement for 6 hours a day, then you would have a material falsehood on the application. Providing false information in the application process is, as far as I understand, always a “fireable” act.

yea, I’d have the lawyers screened… ( :wink: ) seriously, there’s nothing that requires you to hire people who cannot perform the job for which they’ve applied. If you had 20 openings on the line, and zero for the others, it shouldn’t matter that the prospective employee could DO the other job, you don’t have an opening there.

I agree with wring. I applied for the position of meter reader with the City of Burbank. I had to take a written test, then a physical test. The physical test consisted of 3 mile walk. Half of the walk was uphill at very steep incline and it had to be completed within a certain time. 50 people took part, 35 finished, 5 threw up.

Need I say more?

Thanks, wring.

We do have a written statement describing the basic physical requirements – bending, twisting, lifting, standing, etc. – but we just ask them if they can do those things. Everyone says yes. Maybe their signature on such a statement would be more useful. Appreciate the tip – I’ll run it by the folks with the power.

Spooje – we’ve been told we can’t require a physical test. I wonder if those laws vary between states, or whether municipalities have different rules. ??

This has been helpful to me. Now what can be done about the OP and the woman who can’t even hold a phone?

Here’s you in the PMSing thread.

*Originally posted by stofsky *
Ok, kind of sympathetic to the gals, kind of to the guys–not trying to piss anyone off (though if y’all are PMSing it doesn’t matter).

Need I say more?

I understood what Kinoons meant. I think I also understood what you meant, although it appears you left a word out of your sentence.

You understood Kinoons too. That was a cheap shot. If you’re going to pick nits around here, you’d better make sure your stuff is perfect first.

Save your comments on spelling, grammar, syntax, etc. for the threads where those things are the topic of discussion. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to show off.

That’s nothing. My job description requires applicants to be able to “finger and touch objects.” Maybe we should add a test for that…

If you’ll notice, Kinoons brought up “intelligence.” My post, on the other hand, is using fragmentary diction in order to create voice; you’ll notice that I didn’t lose my apostrophe key.

If you’re going to pick nits, you would be well advised to have your own code correct.
Also, you do not need to say any more.