The World’s “Longest Umbilical Cord”
by Glenn Shepard
June 14, 2016
We had an employee who tried to
commit suicide via drug overdose and was involuntarily
committed for a week. We terminated her position with
our company. Legal counsel is telling me we should not
have done that because suicide is a sign of mental
illness and mental illness is protected under the ADA.
Is this true? It doesn’t seem right to me.
Frustrated in Pennsylvania
I’m not an attorney and can’t give
legal advice. And this is a far bigger issue than anyone
can answer in a one inch column. Here’s a little basic
The EEOC’s Enforcement
Guidance on the ADA and Psychiatric Disabilities states
“Attempting suicide does not mean an individual poses an
imminent risk of harm to him/herself when s/he returns
to work. In analyzing ...the likelihood of any potential
harm, the employer must seek reasonable medical
judgments… and/or the best available factual evidence
concerning the employee.”
So the answer
is “Talk to a good labor law attorney.”
- Glenn in Nashville, TN
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A woman who attended my seminar in
Decorah, IA last Wednesday said that the world’s longest
umbilical cord is now the cell phone.
Even after kids
leave home, Helicopter Parents (those who hover over every
aspect of their kids’ lives) don’t cut the apron strings.
They now call their kids in college every day to wake them
up and make sure they get to class.
And then they call
them again every night to tuck them in.
As amazing as it
is to hear this happening with college students, a manager who
attended my seminar in Mason City, IA last Thursday had one that
beats anything I’ve ever heard.
The mother of one of her
employees asked the manager to call and wake up the woman’s son
the next day, because Mom was going to be in an early meeting at
her job, and wouldn’t be able to call her twenty-something son
to wake him up for his job.
Apparently Helicopter Parents
have become so obsessive about micro managing their kids’
lives that they now expect their kids’ employers to wake them up
and get them out of bed.
A 2013 Wall Street Journal
article titled “Should You Bring Mom and Dad to the Office?
Employers Are Embracing the Involvement of Parents to Attract
and Hold On to Talent” referenced a study which found that 8% of
college graduates brought their parents to the job interview
Companies such as LinkedIn (which was just
bought by Microsoft) and Google now have
annual “Bring Your Parents to Work with You” days.
raised a generation that’s accustomed to the first authority
figure in their lives – their parents – being more involved in
every aspect of their day to day existence than any previous
generation in history.
The second authority figure in
everyone’s lives is their teachers, and the third is their
If you manage Generation Y (aka Millennials)
employees, be prepared for the fact that they’ll expect more
involvement and feedback from you than any prior generation in
the workforce ever has.
If you’re a manager who’s a
member of Generation X, which is known for its fierce
independence (because Gen X grew up largely as “Latchkey Kids”),
this will drive you nuts.
But you’d better get used to
it, because Generation Y has now taken over the workforce.
According to Pew Research, Generation Y officially became
the largest generation in the U.S. in April 2016, bumping the
Baby Boomers from that position.
P.S. Want to know how
to attract, manage, motivate and retain Gen Y employees? Make
sure you open every email you get from Glenn Shepard, and I’ll
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