I am all for giving a chance to people with disabilities. They deserve to earn their keep as much as everybody else as not to be a burden on society. But please, also be a tad realistic and use your brain before hiring people.
One of the latest hires at work is a man with certain neurological disorder which I won’t expand on but he does suddenly have certain responses out of the blue that some may interpret as violent. To top the pie with a cherry, he sees himself as a Dirty Harry and escalates situations when no escalation is needed. The more he gets agitated, the more “expressive” he gets making for a potentially dangerous conclusion. The Dirty Harry on him wants to tackle people, arrest them and go verbally abusive on suspects. As much as he’s been told that he is not a LEO and that his actions may lead to jail time if he ever faces a half smart guy, he appears not to process the information.
My workplace (which shall also remain nameless as to fulfill the No-Blogging-No-Social-Media part of the contract) has to deal with a certain percentage of individuals that are, shall we say just a breath away from a felony arrest on better days. In almost three years working there, we had from murder to assault with a deadly weapon to assorted assaults, armed robbery, OD’s and suicides. If I have to give you the perfect mental picture of the place, the memory I will take with me forever is a meth addict with the correspondent meth mouth…..who gold capped the totally F***** up teeth he had left.
As these people do not work for the company but are workers for the people that hire services from us, you can imagine, a delicate touch is necessary to avoid unnecessary blood letting, specially one’s red cells and keeping the clients happy. The mandate is basically, don’t let shit happen, don’t let it get out of hand and if it gets crazy, call the cops & take cover.
My coworker is obviously not suited for the job, but now the company is trapped. Letting him go would open corporate to a possible discrimination lawsuit that I suspect they do not want. Keeping him puts us at risk of having to face a drunk or drugged bastard at the top of his fury while the cops arrive and even having to deal with charges against us if we back him up in a bad call. And sorry, I really do not care if he gets injured, this is the job you chose, by now you know the risks and have been told what to do and what not to do. Whatever happens is your doing.
So please, HR departments everywhere: Be frigging smart and hire disabled people but fit them on jobs that will not endanger themselves or others. Hiring somebody with Parkinson’s to handle nitroglycerin may look good for the Feds but it is not the smartest thing to do, OK?