1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Putting Someone on Disaiblity

Discussion in 'Human Resources' started by ferretrick, Dec 20, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ferretrick

    ferretrick Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18

    We have an employee who is 60 years old-he has a physically demanding job and is having many health issues, including severe obesity, back problems, etc. It is becoming more and more obvious he is no longer capable of doing his job. Pretty much he does the absolute minimum now, and sits in his office when there is not an immediate, assigned task to complete. (He never was what you might call a go getter). For all his shortcomings, he is a loyal, long time employee and we aren't going to just kick him out on the street, but he thinks he is going to work another five years, and that can't happen either. We are a small company and have no alternate job to give him. We have long term disability, and I intend to try to qualify him for that, but does anyone else have any advice? Mostly I want advice on what to say/not say when we have the conversation. The bosses are of course nervous about being sued. I think their fears are exaggerated, but anything I can give them to allay their fears helps.
     
  2. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,739
    Likes Received:
    226
    Trophy Points:
    63
    You can start writing him up for failure to accomplish tasks associated with his job. Forcing him onto disability is inviting a lawsuit out of desperation. Having been fired for being disabled and yes I sued, it is a traumatic event and no one else will likely hire him. You did not indicate his salary, however he apparently needs the continued insurance and income until retirement. Perhaps, you could hire a part time assistant for the labor portion of his job, re-categorize his wage and work responsibilities to cover the cost of a part time employee and remove the labor intensive issues. I have been on sick leave from my current employer for about 30 months. If I could have paid someone 25% or 50% of my income to do my job and keep the rest, I would have been thrilled.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,696
    Likes Received:
    1,886
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Dis, be aware that you are talking to someone who is a long time HR rep, looking to bounce things of other HR Reps. Also be aware that (a) if Rick's employer has not already been writing him up for job-related failures it can be discriminatory to suddenly start and (b) the EEOC has stated it is NOT reasonable to hire someone else to cover part or all of the disabled employee's position. There are significant other costs to hiring someone than just salary. Your perspective from the disabled employee's point of view is valuable but when it comes to the applicable laws your suggestions would jeopardize Rick's employer from a legal perspective.
     
    Disabled Vet likes this.
  4. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    275
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Exactly cbg.... That played out word for word at my former employer. 17 years with them... i was the one that everyone asked Hey how can we improve this or that. They were purchased by another company... This new management team were idiots... They wanted me gone for two reasons.. I was the top pay and I was somewhat disabled at the time. I started getting wrote up... (never had a write up prior) it wasn't a pretty picture for either of us. my son was 5 days old when i was fired. he was 8 when i quit. Yes i got my job back and then some. But for those 8 years everything i did had to be perfect. had to always watch my back. I honestly stayed with them that long afterwards just out of pure meanness. Yes i had to watch my back... but so did they. The answer to your question poster is simple. The way to correct the issue will be harder. You need to TALK to this guy... explain the hardship he is placing on your small company. Explain to him that you care about him. But you also need to do what is best for the company. Talk to the owners... can you afford to carry his insurance? can you afford him part time? the worst problem for companys is you simply don't talk to the employee. You pull out your guns and start firing them...... then that pisses him off. If he is a MAN he will accept the fact he can NO LONGER do the job. Now... You can bring him in part time... while he FILES for SSD as well... Maybe... Just maybe if they approve him for SSD you both would be happy campers.
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,030
    Likes Received:
    496
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Getting back to Rick's issue and what LEGALLY should be done, the supervisor needs to start documenting the objectively observable issues he is having. If he isn't just supposed to be sitting around in the office not being productive, his supervisor needs to be clear about what is expected during those times. I've been through this scenario more times than I can count. Keeping it objective is the way to go. The employee can't argue with that the way they can with vague assertions that they "seem to be struggling" or "aren't putting forth the effort".

    Start the conversation with he and the supervisor present by thanking him for his contributions and loyalty but present the documented issues you/the supervisor have observed. "Bob, we want to thank you for your loyal service and dedication to the job, but we have noticed a few instances lately that are cause for concern and we need to discuss those with you. On Friday, you ....... This is not acceptable/concerning/presents a danger to yourself and others {whatever the concern is}. Can you explain why that happened and what we can do to prevent this happening again?" Take it from there. Maybe an accommodation will help. Maybe he will see the light. Be prepared to send him for a fitness for duty exam. Soften the blow by framing it as concern for his safety and that of others. It genuinely is the reason you are concerned so I see no reason to not be honest about that. If he asks, lay out his options as far as results.

    When you send him for the FFD exam, the doctor will need a full job descriptions and complete list of the exact duties. It can help to take a short video of the tasks involved. That is especially true if the job involves equipment or processes that are not commonly known.

    Keep the focus on the objective but don't forget you are dealing with a human. Good luck.
     
    ferretrick likes this.

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.