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Mr. X has worked for your company for four years; you are his supervisor during this time. You have heard from other employees that Mr. X claims he has some type of mental problems which tend to come and go, but he has never formally mentioned it to you or management. A few days ago, while receiving constructive criticism from his supervisor, Mr. X became very upset, threw a chair at a wall within two feet of hitting you, his supervisor and he stated to you, "You are always on my back, if you do not let up you will be sorry because I will make you pay." Then Mr. X stormed off the job. The next morning Mr. X and his lawyer have approached you with a written letter that demanded a reasonable accommodation for his mental condition, which they claim to be qualified under the ADA.

The accommodation request indicates that Mr. X failed to take his medication for a few days before the incident and his bi-polar psychiatric condition caused him to throw the chair and speak angry threatening words to his supervisor. Mr. X's proposed accommodation is to obtain the employer's tolerance for his actions of yelling and throwing the chair (no discipline) and to obtain the employer's assistance in giving him a less stressful working environment (his request specifically includes a request for a change of supervisors to one that is less demanding). Because his mental condition caused the outburst, they claim that if the employer does not accept his accommodation request would violate the American with Disabilities Act as discrimination against someone with a mental disability.

What do you do and say?

Does your reply change depending on the type of job and what type of access Mr. X has to customers?

Does the direct threat doctrine affect your response?

Just as you were getting ready to answer Mr. X and his lawyer, they give you another request that is for immediate leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. This request indicates that Mr. X has been under the care of a Doctor for his mental condition on an ongoing basis. He wants to take intermittent leave on Friday afternoon, Monday mornings and the afternoon before holidays. He claims the anticipation of the absence from work causes him anxiety and he needs to rest.

What do you think?

Would your answer change if he were asking for time to go to psychiatric counseling every week?

How are you going to respond to these issues?

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Solution Summary

By responding to the questions related to the two scenarios, the solution explores cases related to the Family Medical Leave Act and the American with Disabilities Act.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Human Resource Questions on Training and Development

1. You are working on designing a training program to train new managers for the customer services division of a company. New managers get promoted and are cross trained from a variety of places within the company, as well as recruited external to your organization. All new managers must attend a training immersion program, even if they have managed elsewhere. Your training program will address the basic management skills, interpreting and applying corporate human resources policies, and how to coach individual and groups of employees. The company has identified 10 key skills that they believe new managers should reach proficiency on at the conclusion of the program. Managers work at departments in 30 of the 51 states across the country. The managers will attend 8 sessions over a period of 18 months, with about 2 months between each session.

Based on the above information respond to the following:

A. What kinds of information would you want to collect to address "trainability" of the audience?

B. What kinds of delivery issues might arise?

C. Sketch out your ideas about how a transfer plan might look. Include why you are considering these ideas.

D. How would you evaluate the cost effectiveness of the program?

E. Would you recommend a measurement for ROI? Why or why not?

2. In the past two months your organization has received three complaints related to sexual harassment. All appear to have some basis in fact. Understandably concerned, your senior management has asked you to design a training program to educate employees on proper behaviors in the work place. Senior management has requested three specific proposals. A. The first is creation of a training video that can be shown to all employees. B. The second is a program to be facilitated by training/human resource personnel. C. The third is a creation of a program that can be delivered by department managers themselves. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each proposal?

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