New Hire Illness


From original questioner:

We have a new worker, who was scheduled to start today as an installers helper. I got a voicemail last night that he had a seizure, was in the hospital and wouldn't make it in tomorrow.

He elaborated in an email today saying that he had one other seizure about 5 years ago, and this was the only one since. He's still in the hospital, but saying that he should be able to make it in tomorrow.

Naturally, I'm concerned about sending him to a someone's house to work physically, but not sure how to approach this.

From contributor Da

At a bare minimum, I would make the person bring a note from the doctor that clears him as being able to work without any restrictions that could prevent him from performing the job adequately.

I highly doubt your installer is trained on how to handle seizures in the event the helper would have one at the job site. I would be leaning towards keeping him off the job until medically proven he can perform reliably.

I'll be interested in hearing how other folks would approach this.

From contributor Be

I'll add that the worker was hired on as part time.

From contributor St

Bernie, I agree with Dan about the doctor's note, that's being diligent in a job that can be hazardous.

Also though, I wonder if it is something that could have been stress induced. I think some seizures are triggered this way are they not? Sometimes starting a new job, even part time, can be almost life-and-death stressful for people with some underlying conditions. This is out of their control. Might be worth having a sit-down heart to heart with them. Perhaps if something like this is the case you and them could come up with an integration schedule (maybe don't call it that, more like a "try and see period"), start with a couple days of job-shadow with no obligations on either their or your part. I've seen at a previous place of work, where this type of employee was extremely loyal once they got through the first few weeks of rough patches. There wasn't anything he could do about it during the time but to take it slow and let the boss know (and those of us he was working with) when he needed to take an afternoon or a day or two off and re-group. Usually this happened with only an hours notice, but like a family we always managed fine. We all chalked it up as just the way he was wired, in truth I'm pretty sure it was some form of mental illness that he was battling. Nicest guy in the shop too, never a problem. I was 15 years younger than him but was lead to him and I never had any guff from him. To the best of my knowledge, he's still with the company.

I think your installer should be in on the final decision as much as you're legally allowed to inform him/her, as this will benefit both the installer and the part-time hire. Clearing the air as the employer between those working together can ward off some future issues.

From contributor Ch

I had a guy who had an employee who had a seizure at work. Guess he forgot to tell me about that. He told me it was rare. I called his Doctor (back when you could) and he said his problem was he woudl not take his meds regularly and woudl think he was OK. So bleeding heart me (at the time) told him he could stay, but no machines. ladders etc. FF a week or 2, I could him walking along a catwalk being installed before the safety fence was installed. Fired.