Why do some people have to ruin it for everyone else?
A day doesn’t go by without an employee claiming to one of my clients that he/she is “disabled.” The Americans with Disabilities Act has a pretty good, common sense definition of disabled. California, as usual, had to make it is so broad that virtually everyone is technically disabled. Broken leg? Yep. Bad case of the flu? Yep. Inability to get to work on time because snoring keeps you awake? Yep. A couple weeks ago an employee filed a complaint because her employer (my client) “failed to accommodate” her disability. What did they do? They provided donuts in the breakroom on Fridays. This woman claimed that she couldn’t work around donuts because she had celiac disease. The Celiac Disease Foundation defines the disease as “a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.” I’m not a genius but it seems to me that the obvious “accommodation” would be: “Don’t EAT the donuts” (they don’t magically appear in one’s small intestine). I feel bad for people who are truly disabled because dumbing down the definition trivializes real disabilities and causes resentment. Disabled individuals have endured a lot to get the protections they need to work on an even playing field. We (I’m talking to you Department of Fair Employment & Housing) need to stop insulting them and their efforts by treating every trivial physical inconvenience as a disability.