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A Workplace Disability Accommodation Tool Kit from JAN

Managing disability accommodations can be a real challenge for both employer and employee. Of course, we want to do it gracefully, comply with the law and make sure the result is a productive employee.

My friends at the Job Accommodation Network have released an awesome Workplace Disability Accommodation Toolkit which includes:

  • Sample accommodation procedures
  • Training presentations
  • Role-play videos
  • Examples of policies and forms from leading U.S. businesses
  • Best practices for creating an inclusive workplace
  • Checklists to track the accommodation process

The Toolkit provides guidance for the different areas of the employment process and a resource for recruiters, hiring managers, supervisors, human resource professionals, accommodation consultants and allies of employees with disabilities.

Here’s an example of a resource page.

You can access the Workplace Accommodation Tool Kit https://AskJAN.org/toolkit

Checklist for Consciously Managing a Workplace Problem

Life would be so easy if there weren’t other people …right? And, so boring too. One of the challenges we face is getting out of our heads when facing a “problem.” Here’s how to take a more conscious approach and eliminate the drama in the process.

  1. Recognize and admit that you have a responsibility toward the situation. As Dr. Phil reminds us, there are two sides to every relationship.
  2. Have you expressed your concern appropriately? Speak of how you feel and not about “what they’ve done.” Use “I” and not “you.” Your silence is not golden so don’t wallow in a Culture of Silence.
  3. Drop your desire to be “right.” As the great Sufi poet, Rumi stated, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” The Buddha said “Winning and losing are both the same thing: they are nothing.” If you want to know what a conscious approach is, simply ask yourself what Jesus, Buddha, or similar beings would say or do in the same situation.
  4. Do not identify yourself by your “problem.” That is giving your power away. Understand you are a much greater being than any circumstances you could face at work… or home.
  5. If, after you’ve made a conscious effort to resolve the problem, things don’t work out, prepare to move on. This does not mean that you hire a lawyer or start a fight. In my 17 years of litigation experience representing employees, few, if any, benefited from the litigation experience. Even after I put hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pockets. The only way we benefit from our negative experiences is when we learn our lessons and move on. Do not waste a moment of your energy looking backwards.
  6. If you are feeling stuck give yourself “outs”. Perhaps you prepare your resume and go on job interviews, but continue to do your best job possible. Sure you can gather evidence of their “unfair conduct” but what good will it do you? Better to find an environment where you are respected and feel good about the work you do every day.
  7. Recognize that conduct on the part of others that feels unfair to you is often due to their lack of consciousness. This is true whether it is your spouse, child, subordinate or supervisor. Recognize that no one engages in more unfair conduct towards you than you do to yourself. Focus on the internal and let go of the external. Do what is practical, not what is emotionally satisfying.
  8. Ask yourself these questions: Will this really matter in five years from now? How would my loved ones like to see me approach this challenge? (With a negative or positive attitude?) What example will I be setting for my family, friends and co-workers? Do I have the strength to rise above this nonsense? Can I separate myself from identifying my being with this problem?
  9. As Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now states: “Use your problems and suffering for enlightenment.” Do not give your pain and suffering any time in the past or future. If you are fully present with it, you’ll fully realize that you are just fine right now. Stay in the “now” and you will avoid your own ego-driven consciousness.
  10. Lastly, go have some fun. Exercise, sleep well, and eat right. Focus on what you are grateful for and let everything else go. Forgive, surrender, and love your enemy.

I can guarantee you that any approach other than the above will result in no good to you, your company, your loved ones, or anyone else. I say this without reservation and with good intention.

Is this the end of hugging in the workplace?

I just read an interesting 9th Circuit opinion https://lnkd.in/gacp9Zg . I can see the lawyers telling us there is now a no hugging rule in the workplace. According to the court “hugging can create a hostile or abusive workplace when it is unwelcome and pervasive”.

Apparently the boss in this case did way too much hugging for way too many years. Apparently the plaintiff couldn’t take it anymore. She felt the hugging had sexual overtones. And maybe it did.

There is a sliding scale of creepiness when it comes to hugging. And there is a personal space scale too. Most people are OK with a good natured hug. However, “chest to breast” hugging can be creepy and unwelcome. Some people don’t like being touched at all, maybe for some very personal reasons.

I like hugging people. Mostly friends and family. But there have been occasions where someone I had just met needed a hug and I gave it to them.

What I won’t do is be creepy about it.

PS it’s probably too creepy to pull a sandwich hug at work.