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sammy
09-04-2007, 7:12 PM
I work at a small family business. My father-in-law is the owner and is rarely there. I pretty much run the show and manage 15 employees. I have a guy I hired 2 years ago has mental problems. The job is an unskilled labor position that pays $10.00 + full benefits, 401K to start. Not great for the SF bay area but not bad either.
He has a bi-polar disorder from what he tells me. I can't verify that, but what I can say for sure is he is a compulsive liar. He lies about everything from his "girlfriend" (not in a million years) to all the relatives that seem to pass away (his father has died twice now).
He is a good employee, comes in every day on time and works hard but has an anger problem. He has extreme highs and lows. He gets so angry at times if you say "Hi John Doe" he will walk right past you like you weren't even there. He does not act out but you can cut the tension with a knife.
I am sure he has a screw loose and I can deal with that but he has shown a recent interest in handguns since he turned 21. This makes me very nervous. I know this individual should never own a gun. Is their anything I can do to make sure he cannot purchase a gun? Under California law if he is bi-polar he cannot purchase a handgun or any other kind of gun. Do I have any recourse here? :confused:

bwiese
09-04-2007, 7:26 PM
You are not a trained psychotherapist (i.e, MD).

I'd hate for people who think I'm weird to say I can't have a gun.

The man does not necessarily have an adjudicated mental defect determination and may not have been "5150'd" in his past.

If you feel his workplace conduct is troublesome, you can note it in his file and encourage him to have a chat with free (insurance-paid) counseling. At that point perhaps a formal determination could be made.

Gringo Bandito
09-04-2007, 7:34 PM
Just a friendly FYI...

You may also want to be careful about who you say what to regarding his medical condition. You could be in violation of HIPPA by disclosing to people around the office.

rkt88edmo
09-04-2007, 7:36 PM
I know very few easily upset people who don't act out, at least he can keep himself in check.

sammy
09-04-2007, 7:40 PM
You are not a trained psychotherapist (i.e, MD).

I'd hate for people who think I'm weird to say I can't have a gun.

The man does not necessarily have an adjudicated mental defect determination and may not have been "5150'd" in his past.

If you feel his workplace conduct is troublesome, you can note it in his file and encourage him to have a chat with free (insurance-paid) counseling. At that point perhaps a formal determination could be made.

I understand your what you are saying. Not to sound liberal but I have a very bad feeling about this guy. He is beyond depressed, work is his only social outlet. He is not a stable person. I will talk with him tomorrow and encourage him to go to Kaiser. He is fully covered. Sammy

Librarian
09-04-2007, 7:43 PM
Step cautiously here.

If he does nothing illegal or dangerous, then he's 'just another guy'; understanding your concern, without evidence of past or current behavior, there is no more reason for you to have 'recourse' against him than any other of your employees, or some passerby on the street.

IF he should do something which may endanger himself or others, you probably should call the cops. When/if they respond (and the seriousness of the problem related affects both parts of that), they may do a number of things. One of those possible things is involuntary detention for 72 hours for evaluation (Calif Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150). And one of the possible results of that action is a record, accessible by the courts and the DOJ, which would probably cause one to fail a background check.

There's a lot of 'ifs' and 'possibles' in that paragraph.

But as things are, he has to do something, not cause you to be afraid he might do something. (Assault, while not involving acts of violence, is 'doing something' which causes you fear of injury right now, but not maybe next week.) Remember, 'X might do bad things with a gun!' is exactly the excuse many antis use against us!

If he lives with someone, perhaps you might chat with him/her about this new interest. Family or other interested caregivers may have influence.

---

HIPAA (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HIPAAGenInfo/06_AreYouaCoveredEntity.asp#TopOfPage) doesn't apply here - no one is a covered entity - "The new privacy regulations ensure a national floor of privacy protections for patients by limiting the ways that health plans, pharmacies, hospitals and other covered entities can use patients' personal medical information."

That doesn't mean it's nice, or that revealing someone's medical condition is entirely free from legal risk, just that HIPAA isn't the applicable law.

Sam Hainn
09-04-2007, 7:53 PM
He gets so angry at times if you say "Hi John Doe" he will walk right past you like you weren't even there.

OK, well that's me every Monday morning. Really, just about any workday morning, so chalk me up as crazy too.

I work with a bunch of zombies with very little wit. Nice people, but boring, assembly line like, no creativity & easily confused. These are the kind of people that alone, stare slightly upward as they work, smiling for no reason. Sometimes I wonder if the whole lot of them went to the same lobotomy lab, or maybe are on Lithium or Prozac from a group buy. Stepford Wives, Children of the Corn, White Cap Mountains, Pod People, Clockwork Orange, Moonies... a real Frances Farmers cult times 10, etc. To tell a joke, you need to draw the subtleties on a chalkboard with Xs and Os. Have you see 'Office Space'? Multiply that times 100. So yeah, sometimes my best option is to "walk right past them like they weren't even there" because saying something or acknowledging them is bound to let something mean to come out, and I'd rather not be mean to the mentally indigent. Most are soccer moms with irrational fears. I suspect most of them are just like the same kind of people that overreacted to BWOs website.

dfletcher
09-04-2007, 8:00 PM
It sounds as though he has never been adjudicated as mentally unfit - that your layman's belief, however "gut feeling" correct it may seem, is the only question regarding this fellow's mental fitness. Is that accurate? If so, there is nothing preventing him from buying a gun and absent a medical degree I'm not certain you can change that fact.

As mentioned before, this is a complicated area of the employer - employee relationship. Once he has established a medical problem and informed his employer, you can pretty much count on him being part of your company for quite a while - welcome to the world of CA labor law, the ADA and (in SF) Prop F. CA assault weapons are clear and precise when compared to labor law & ADA.

As an aside, I would not categorize someone who has such a negative impact on the company as a good employee. If he behaves that way around the boss, how does he interact with his co - workers? I'd be curious to find out what they would tell me in confidence regarding their take on this fellow's performance & effect on the office.

You're in a tough position. I'd be tempted to skip the mental health involvement, document the heck out of his work performance with the intent of requiring him to improve or in the alternative be terminated. I acknowledge that may not go over well & make that observation without the benefit (or risk) you and his co - workers have in dealing directly with him.

Gringo Bandito
09-04-2007, 8:10 PM
You're in a tough position. I'd be tempted to skip the mental health involvement, document the heck out of his work performance with the intent of requiring him to improve or in the alternative be terminated. I acknowledge that may not go over well & make that observation without the benefit (or risk) you and his co - workers have in dealing directly with him.

You can do this but be careful. It can inch toward harassment and/or discrimination.

If you do not have HR folks in house you may want to call the workforce development agency in your county( they provide pay as you go HR advice to small business. These folks may refer you. http://www.wdbccc.com/contact.htm

dfletcher
09-04-2007, 8:15 PM
You can do this but be careful. It can inch toward harassment and/or discrimination.

If you do not have HR folks in house you may want to call the workforce development agency in your county( they provide pay as you go HR advice to small business. These folks may refer you. http://www.wdbccc.com/contact.htm

Absolutely, I agree - like dancing in a mine field and it may be the best approach is to consult the folks you suggest or an HR or labor law attorney.

Mssr. Eleganté
09-04-2007, 8:25 PM
...I am sure he has a screw loose and I can deal with that but he has shown a recent interest in handguns since he turned 21.

Um, does he log on to CalGuns.net? :whistling:

stealthmode
09-04-2007, 8:29 PM
run a background check on him to see if he has ever been arrested for any type of violence.

WokMaster1
09-04-2007, 9:19 PM
God! It's not Chris Daly, is it?:D


I work at a small family business. My father-in-law is the owner and is rarely there. I pretty much run the show and manage 15 employees. I have a guy I hired 2 years ago has mental problems. The job is an unskilled labor position that pays $10.00 + full benefits, 401K to start. Not great for the SF bay area but not bad either.
He has a bi-polar disorder from what he tells me. I can't verify that, but what I can say for sure is he is a compulsive liar. He lies about everything from his "girlfriend" (not in a million years) to all the relatives that seem to pass away (his father has died twice now).
He is a good employee, comes in every day on time and works hard but has an anger problem. He has extreme highs and lows. He gets so angry at times if you say "Hi John Doe" he will walk right past you like you weren't even there. He does not act out but you can cut the tension with a knife.
I am sure he has a screw loose and I can deal with that but he has shown a recent interest in handguns since he turned 21. This makes me very nervous. I know this individual should never own a gun. Is their anything I can do to make sure he cannot purchase a gun? Under California law if he is bi-polar he cannot purchase a handgun or any other kind of gun. Do I have any recourse here? :confused:

dfletcher
09-04-2007, 9:32 PM
God! It's not Chris Daly, is it?:D

Doubt it - we all know Chris is certifiable. :cool:

jimx
09-04-2007, 10:37 PM
I work at a small family business. My father-in-law is the owner and is rarely there. I pretty much run the show and manage 15 employees. I have a guy I hired 2 years ago has mental problems. The job is an unskilled labor position that pays $10.00 + full benefits, 401K to start. Not great for the SF bay area but not bad either.
He has a bi-polar disorder from what he tells me. I can't verify that, but what I can say for sure is he is a compulsive liar. He lies about everything from his "girlfriend" (not in a million years) to all the relatives that seem to pass away (his father has died twice now).
He is a good employee, comes in every day on time and works hard but has an anger problem. He has extreme highs and lows. He gets so angry at times if you say "Hi John Doe" he will walk right past you like you weren't even there. He does not act out but you can cut the tension with a knife.
I am sure he has a screw loose and I can deal with that but he has shown a recent interest in handguns since he turned 21. This makes me very nervous. I know this individual should never own a gun. Is their anything I can do to make sure he cannot purchase a gun? Under California law if he is bi-polar he cannot purchase a handgun or any other kind of gun. Do I have any recourse here? :confused:


A couple of things.
Employment in California is “AT WILL”. Having a bad gut feeling about someone is a good reason to terminate him. You are within your rights to let anyone go for any reason other than discriminatory or whistle blowing. You do not fire someone because you think he may be dangerous; you have a RIF. If the employee asks, you are cutting back, going in a different direction…. Don’t fight his EDD.

Also be careful on your documentation. If you are noting every time he is 5 minutes late make sure everyone gets tagged when they are late, etc, ect, ect! Personally I was surprised when EPI recommend that it was better not to have list of every infraction. Also be careful on using background checks. Why fight a “for cause” when you can legally and morally stand behind “At Will”?

Two years ago I had Employment Practices Insurance, well worth the money. You get $100,000 coverage for around 5k a year (we have a few more employees that you so it could be less). What make EPI so valuable is you can ask them the legalities before you do anything and their advice is good. It has to be because if they give bad advice and you get sued they are the ones that pay! We used them many times, from important issues to trivial matters.

Your post is problematic. You should not call employees “Crazy guy at work”. Besides getting your balls sued off you need to be respectful of your workers. I hope you do not talk about John like that at the work place…

Let’s look at the ways your post can get you sued.
Has a mental illness and you call him crazy, that is discrimination. If he had a limp would you call him gimpy? You outted him for being bi-polar, Big time privacy issues you can’t release medical information. Oh and what if he does do something, anything from going postal to hitting someone? A lawyer would have a field day! You knew he was a danger had anger issues! John made you so nervous that you tried to prevent him from owning a gun! Yet you let him come to work every day and did nothing to protect your employees!

As far as John owning a hand gun, that’s not your call. Can you imagine what it would be like if laypeople could prevent someone from getting a gun because they think the person shouldn’t have one?

Just dawned on me, have your WC insurance agent take you and your father in-law to lunch. (Since you have 15 employees this is something he had probity done with your f in-law) and have an “off the record” talk.

rod
09-05-2007, 7:08 AM
Be very nice to this guy. Buy him lunch and sympathize with him. If he goes postal, you don't want to be the one he's looking for.:)

jc_stecker
09-05-2007, 7:21 AM
He is a good employee, comes in every day on time and works hard but has an anger problem. He has extreme highs and lows. He gets so angry at times if you say "Hi John Doe" he will walk right past you like you weren't even there.:confused:

If that's what he does when he's real angry, then you don't have a thing to worry about.

simonov
09-05-2007, 8:42 AM
You are not a trained psychotherapist (i.e, MD).

I'd hate for people who think I'm weird to say I can't have a gun.

Indeed. Most of our fellow Californians probably believe that anyone odd enough to want to have a gun shouldn't be allowed to have a gun.

turinreza
09-05-2007, 8:49 AM
he's probably hating life.... if you think he can't get a girl that's enough for me to be pissy every other dayif it's true... heh.

you can have a social event for your workers to let out steam..
take them all to a gun range or paint ball... if he enjoyed the release of stress..
maybe he'll do that from now on...

xrMike
09-05-2007, 10:09 AM
I am sure he has a screw loose and I can deal with that but he has shown a recent interest in handguns since he turned 21. How has he expressed that interest? (this is an important point that you have not elaborated on)

If you have a bad feeling, you should pay attention to it. I'm not sure what that means you should ACTUALLY do... I'm just saying you should pick a course of action and follow through on it, and not do nothing. Pay attention to the bad feeling.

VeryCoolCat
09-05-2007, 10:53 AM
I've met plenty of bi-polar/skitzos. BI-polar angry doesn't necesarily mean violent. Thing is, most who are bi-polar don't even know it, but think they are just angry all the time.

Under California law if he is bi-polar he cannot purchase a handgun or any other kind of gun.

Under california law.... if you are a drug dealer, you cannot purchase a handgun or any other kind of gun. Problem is not everyone can figure out someone is off right away and go up and ask "HEY ARE YOU GOING TO COMMIT A CRIME".

I'm not worried about these people, its the people who are secretly inside angry/depressed all the time with these psychopathic thoughts... but hide it in their daily life despite wanting to let it out but have no outlet for it without people thinking hes nuts. These people are unpredictable as they show little or no emotion or cover it up.

Like the tv show Dexter, many of these severely sick individuals who have constant horrible thoughts can hide their true emotions very well and become actually popular or seem very friendly despite being totally anti-social in their real personality.

This psych doctor I was joking with once told me, its not the crazy ones you should be afraid of.... but the ones who makes people believe they are sane.

artherd
09-05-2007, 10:02 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SADRcGrIo7g&mode=related&search=

jerryg1776
09-05-2007, 11:00 PM
If I were you I would do the following:

1- consult attorney
2- get a game plan in place, pre and post employee help and/or release
3- CYA - legally, criminally, etc
4- have this thread deleted and pretend that it was never posted

Never talk about an employee in a public forum and violate his confidence, privacy and trust. Remember, the internet makes the world a small place. How many of your employees browse this site? Their friends? You are opening yourself up to legal and civil liability. You cannot do things like this if you manage PEOPLE. You cannot break privacy. The employee who thanks you for letting him know thats this other person may have mental issues, is the same one who will distrust you for telling him. Its a lose - lose issue.

Get him help. Would you let a man drown in front of you. If you are concerned for your safety and your employees' safety, remember to be concerned for his safety also. You are worried if he loses it at work - what if he just loses it and hurts himself. Its still a shame to let it happen and not try to help. Just be very careful and tactful while doing this. Once again, consult professionals not forum members. You are in a position where you should have available resources, or be able to find and consult resources to help you in this type of predicament.

As a manager of PEOPLE, you walk a very thin line - Always keep that in mind.
Respect your people.