Uncommon side: The slow learner -- part II

This case touched off a firestorm of controversy among engineering professionals. Some feel passionately that promoting Joe Chernoff, a candidate with Attention Deficit Disorder, could, in Stephen Nichols' words, "set a dangerous precedent.

10/01/1998


This case touched off a firestorm of controversy among engineering professionals. Some feel passionately that promoting Joe Chernoff, a candidate with Attention Deficit Disorder, could, in Stephen Nichols' words, "set a dangerous precedent." Still others disagree.

Electrical Engineer Wayne M. Perdue concedes the issue is controversial. Afflicted with ADD himself, Perdue sides with Chernoff. So does Bill Stone, who says, "Chernoff should be tested. If he does have ADD, he should be given more time." Raymond O'Rourke also agrees. "If a grievance is filed," he says, "there isn't a prayer of the company coming out unscathed."

But Joe Fair doesn't see it that way. "Working with electricity is extremely hazardous. [An ADD person] may place himself or others in harm's way." Gregory Pavlov compares the ADD worker to someone with 5-yr experience competing with others who have 20-yr experience. "Competence," he adds, "should be the only criterion for the candidate's selection, regardless of disabilities."

Brad Finch wonders about the test's relevancy. Lacking relevancy to job performance, it would not stand up in court. Assuming the test is relevant, Kevin Smith comments, "If an applicant can't pass the test as it is, I don't want him guarding my safety."

Does Chernoff have a viable case? A lawyer friend of reader Douglas Moon thinks he certainly has, and ridicules the supervisor for telling Chernoff that everyone and his brother would demand special accommodation.

If Chernoff does have a case, Mike Hunsaker feels, it is only for a future case, assuming he obtains supporting documentation and adds it to his file. To be valid, he says, Chernoff must have documentation before, not after, he decides to sue.

Does he indeed have a case? Maybe yes, maybe no, in the opinion of Uncommon Side's expert, educator and former American Arbitration Association arbitrator Leonard J. Smith. "These days," he says, "everyone is ready to sue at the remotest hint of a case. Management is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn't. Where borderline, the prevalent tendency is to find the company at fault. The big question is are you before a hanging judge or not?

"Management is between a rock and a hard place," Smith says. "If Chernoff should be given more time, how much more? How would his time needs affect job performance? Most important, what does the company's legal counsel have to say?"

Smith adds one more interesting thought. "Why not give Chernoff all the time he needs to complete the test? Then compare the results against the others. Unless he proves to be the best qualified, you do not have to promote him."





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me