Avoid blanket medical hiring exclusions

Project Engineer Ed Sherman received what amounted to a welcoming handshake from Chief Engineer Art Cobin after his final employment interview.


Project Engineer Ed Sherman received what amounted to a welcoming handshake from Chief Engineer Art Cobin after his final employment interview.

"Between the two of us, Ed," he confided, "it's simply a matter of getting the company doctor's okay on your physical. You don't see any problems there, do you?"

"No sir, none at all."

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. The doctor's report was stamped REJECTED. The reason given was that Sherman's sodium level was below the acceptable parameter which, as the physician explained, could lead to various medical problems.

Sherman was stunned by the news.

"Did you know your sodium level was low?"

"It's been low for years, but it's under control. I can bring you a letter from my family doctor testifying that it imposes no restrictions on my work."

Cobin was sympathetic but firm. "I'm sorry, the medical department's verdict is sacrosanct around here. There's nothing I can do about it."

Sherman refused to settle for that. "Your refusal to hire me on these grounds violates the law and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I'm taking this up with my lawyer."

Question: If Sherman follows through on his threat might he be able to prevail over the medical department?

Expert's opinion: "Low sodium or not," Corporate Attorney Ellen Raphael told Plant Engineer Jay Wallace when informed of Sherman's threat, "my advice is to hire the man if he's otherwise qualified. More and more these days injunctions are being issued to prohibit companies from disqualifying disabled job applicants on the basis of blanket exclusionary policies which discriminate against them."

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me