Most days, we spent our time helping clients reach a positive solution to their HR challenges. But let's face it, sometimes HR can be downright scary. In honor of Halloween, we’ve compiled questions from some of our most "monstrous" clientele, literally. Turns out that they struggle with much the same compliance and workplace culture issues that we humans do. Don’t believe us? Read on, if you dare!
Q: A rather slimy ghost has applied with us, and we're reluctant to hire him. He's supernaturally slimy and we fear he'll inevitably damage our products, even when wearing gloves. What are our options?
A: Currently, species is not a protected class, so you can choose to hire or not based on species. We do not, however, recommend that employers make hiring decisions based on such generalities and instead urge them to consider each individual and their ability to do the job well. In this case, it sounds like you have a legitimate reason not to hire this candidate based not on his species, but based on his inability to perform the essential functions of the job.
Q: We hired a wicked witch who’s now asking for us to have a water-free workplace. She’s afraid she’ll be splashed and melt. Would OSHA require us to go water free?
A: No. While OSHA says that any chemical that presents a physical or health hazard is considered a hazardous chemical, the danger here is to this one employee and no one else. The relevant law here would be the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this case, the employee has something comparable to a life-threatening allergy to water. Given that water is necessary for life and for the health and sanitation of your other employees, creating a water-free workplace would not be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Your wicked witch may need to accept the risks posed by your workplace or find other employment. Preferably not in the housing industry, though.
Q: We have a company policy of giving our werewolf employees leave during the full moon, but I’m concerned this policy may be discriminatory. Do I need to offer the same leave to non-werewolves even though they don’t need it?
A: The Supreme Court ruled in Lupin vs. Wolfram & Hart that lycanthropy, or the supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf, is a disability for ADA purposes. Therefore, you may accommodate your werewolves with leave for their disability even if you don’t offer that same leave to those without this affliction.
Q: Moaaaaeeee eeeeooooouuuu iiiiiieeee agh agh agh moaoaoaoaggghhh?
A: Ah, we get this question a lot, especially from zombies. The short answer is yes. As long as you apply that policy consistently.
Related Content: Worried that some of your staff are turning into monsters? Learn best practices on how to accommodate them in the workplace, just in time for Halloween!