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Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:21 PM

Fair hiring question

A good friend of mine is applying at a major University. She had an automobile accident a number of years ago and has rods and screws in her back and cannot lift over 20 pounds per her doctor. When looking at the University positions posted (over 100) every single one from a receptionist to a cart driver has a note that they must be able to live 25 pounds or they are not qualified.

I worked there for a long time with a back issue and it never seemed to bother anyone that I could not lift that much.

Does this sound like some type of institutional discrimination against anyone with a disability? Or are they trying to keep their health costs down by not hiring anyone with a back issue?

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fair hiring question (Original post)
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 OP
pkdu Jul 2013 #1
datasuspect Jul 2013 #2
Ms. Toad Jul 2013 #19
byeya Jul 2013 #3
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #4
byeya Jul 2013 #5
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #6
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #7
byeya Jul 2013 #9
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #11
Sanity Claws Jul 2013 #8
byeya Jul 2013 #10
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #12
Ms. Toad Jul 2013 #17
Sanity Claws Jul 2013 #13
redstatebluegirl Jul 2013 #14
Sanity Claws Jul 2013 #15
Ms. Toad Jul 2013 #18
Ms. Toad Jul 2013 #20
Ms. Toad Jul 2013 #16

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:23 PM

1. There has to be ADA exemptions , surely... Nt

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:23 PM

2. no

 

it's a job requirement.

it's why you don't see so many paraplegic crane operators.

it's completely fair and just to have standards and requirements for job positions.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 06:45 PM

19. But they actually have to be related to the performance of the job.

They can't just be applied across the board to all jobs with a particular employer.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:28 PM

3. An employer can require certain physical abilities if they are directly tied to the job.

 

It used to be, in a major American city, that a firefighter had to lift X number of pounds; run 1.5 miles in X number of minutes and related type abilities. They were sued on the grounds that running 1.5 miles was not directly related to the job(other tasks too). As part of the settlement, the firefighter was required to demonstrate job related things like: dragging X number of pounds of hose a set distance in a set amount of time; drag an unconscious person(a dummy really) X number of feet in fire simulated conditions; climb a two story ladder with X number of pounds of hose and accurately maintain the stream of water on target. All things that happen on fires.
So, yes in my opinion, if the job calls for lifting 25 pounds, then the employer can require it.

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Response to byeya (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:33 PM

4. I guess I just found it odd, that

it didn't appear on all positions a year ago, only things in Physical Plant, hauling things like that where you would expect they would need to lift and tote things . Now even a receptionist needs to be able to do that...

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:39 PM

5. For what it's worth, I find it odd that a receptionist job would have a weight lifting requirement.

 

Can your friend go back to the doctor and see if he'll raise his ante to 25 pounds? And, then which exercises can your friend do to strengthen herself within the limits of her reduced ability?

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Response to byeya (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:51 PM

6. I think it is a standard doctor thing

when I had mine, just had a second a few weeks ago, 20 pounds was kind of standard. She really needs a job, she has a Master's in education and is brilliant, but her husband left her and she has a daughter. The University is the best option with benefits and all for her and her daughter.

I already suggested she contact her doctor to see if he would up it to 25. I hope he will. She is applying for secretarial because she just needs a job with benefits right now.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:52 PM

7. Of course we don't need universal health care at all in this country....

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:55 PM

9. I hope your friend gets the job. Sounds like she's had it rough

 

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Response to byeya (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:59 PM

11. She has, he insisted she quit her teaching job

when she had Abby, now here she is with a disability and no job. I helped her get a good attorney, but who knows this is a man state. She is terrified.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:53 PM

8. It has to be a true requirement

I don't see why all receptionists need to be able to lift 25 lbs.

Also the question lift from where to where; from waist area to overhead? from floor to waist?

It sounds to me like they really have not thought through the real physical requirements of their jobs if they list the same 25 lbs. requirement for all jobs.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:56 PM

10. I agree with you about the like of specificity. Maybe the state employment commission

 

can be of help.
Or is that laughable in this day and age?

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Response to byeya (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 03:01 PM

12. i think they have thought it through

they are discriminating but under the law.... Working people and women have no rights.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #12)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 06:42 PM

17. That is not correct.

There are very strong (and getting stronger) obligations on the employer under the ADA. One of the reasons the perceptions is that working people have no rights is that everyone just accepts what the employer says and employers who are acting in violation of the law are often not forced to comply because no one calls them on it.

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Response to byeya (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 03:02 PM

13. Whether it is laughable may depend on the state

Some state laws against disability discrimination may still have teeth, even if the federal law (ADA) does not.

As for your friend, what job is she interested in? If it is something like a loading dock, she can't do the job. However, if she wanted to be a receptionist, then I don't see why she should be required to lift 25 lbs. If something over 25 lbs is being delivered, she should be able to direct the delivery person to place the item on a hand cart or dolly, and she could push the item to wherever it is supposed to do.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 03:23 PM

14. A receptionist in a College on Campus

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 03:56 PM

15. She would be able to take care of 25lb packages with reasonable accommodation

The actual duty is probably handling deliveries of up to 25 lbs. She can do this without lifting the item through a reasonable accommodation, such as a hand truck or dolly in the area on which the delivery person can place the item. She can then push it to its destination.
That would get the task done without lifting.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 06:43 PM

18. Yep. n/t

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 06:48 PM

20. The ADA is actually getting more teeth,

rather than fewer.

It used to be that one had to prove one was disabled (or perceived to be) under the statute - and the definition was interpreted extremely narrowly. A few years ago, in response to court decisions which kept narrowing the people protected, Congress rewrote the definition so that disability is closer to a presumption than the locked gate it had been at the entry to the workplace.

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Response to Sanity Claws (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 06:40 PM

16. Correct.

An employer cannot just randomly assign a 25 lb lifting requirement to every single job - it must truly be a necessary component of the specific job. Might make a nice test case - I'd suggest hooking up with the state or federal Equal Employment Opportunity division. If they are interested in making it a test case, it could be a big win for not only the person interested in the job - but others who have been unfairly discouraged from even applying.

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