Eugene Scalia Ruled It’s Ok to Make Disabled Workers Soil Themselves on the Job
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When the plaintiff explained that simply standing up could trigger a loss of bowel control, Scalia argued that they should have taken “self-help steps such as using Depends (a product specifically designed for incontinence) and bringing a change of clothes to the workplace.” In other words, when an employee asked for support, Scalia argued that she should wear a diaper and be ready to change her pants.
This is not just a case for me. It is personal. As a person who has lived with inflammatory bowel disease for 34 years, I have requested and received the accommodations cited in this case. It’s not unusual for me to need quick access to a bathroom four, six, or eight times during a workday. On the days when that number is higher, I take advantage of telework. On days when it’s lower, I come to the office confident that my disability will not keep me from the work I love. Not because I’m forced to wear Depends — which would put me at risk for complications from inflammation or infection — but because of laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act that protect my right to accommodations that work for me.
Scalia’s nomination has the potential to set back disability employment policy by decades. The Department of Labor has a critical role in driving policy on disability employment, helping make the workplace safer and more accessible, and helping move the needle away from subminimum wage employment.
It might be easy to dismiss this administration’s nomination of Scalia as just one more dangerous appointment competing for our attention. That’s not what I see here. What I see is a nominee who endangers every worker’s right to reasonable accommodations. Not just the 3 million Americans who live with bowel disease, but the more than 60 million Americans with disabilities who depend on the ADA to protect them from discrimination by employers.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
September 28, 2019 at 7:47 AM #165992joentokyoParticipant
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We can only hope he gets to visit his father soon.
“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves” ~ French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987)
September 28, 2019 at 10:42 AM #166109elias39Participant
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