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  • Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

    A Lake County man, living with obsessive compulsive disorder, is getting ready to file a lawsuit against Walt Disney World. He says the theme park didn't allow him to take short breaks to help him deal with the disorder and then fired him, but Disney officials told Eyewitness News a very different story Wednesday.

    Disney said it takes such matters very seriously. In fact, the company even has its own doctors to help determine what accommodations to give employees. But Jay DiMaio says he wasn't offered help, he was fired and now he's suing.

    Jay will wash his hands three times in a single visit to the bathroom. In his bedroom, there's a certain order.

    "Everything has to have a place," he said.

    Jay has obsessive compulsive disorder and suffers anxiety attacks.

    "The best way to describe OCF is 'hell,'" he said.

    With medication, therapy and frequent breaks, Jay is able to hold a job, at least that's what he thought. He says Disney wouldn't allow him to take the breaks he needs to control his disability and they fired him.

    "She told me, 'Look, we have to terminate you,'" he said.

    Jay said his supervisors even refused to look at his doctor's note that spells out the accommodations he needs.

    "I said, 'Will you at least read the letter from my doctor and make some concessions?' And she said, 'No, we are Disney, there are certain rules and we can't make any concessions,'" he said.

    But Disney says Jay isn't telling the truth. They released the following statement: "It is our practice to address employment matters directly and confidentially with our employees, but given that he has chosen to mischaracterize the facts, we can tell you he was hired, resigned, rehired and resigned again. He has been offered multiple roles which he declined and his status remains available for rehire."

    But Jay maintains he was treated unfairly.

    "I personally feel, if the founder of Disney, Walt, were still alive today, he would not let this happen," he said.

    Jay said he has hired an attorney to get back pay, his job back and prevent it from happening again.
    Source: http://www.wftv.com/news/14313250/de...=orlc&psp=news

  • #2
    Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

    Veeeeeery interesting. I wodner who is telling the truth :-S.

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    • #3
      Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

      Sounds like this guy with OCD has an issue with resigning and getting rehired...it's all a process, it seems.
      Do NOT pull down on the safety bar, please...I will lower it for you...







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      • #4
        Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

        I bet he is sueing, for more than enough to live off of so he doesn't have to work no more!
        Seeing from how many times, he has resigned and all doesn't even look like he likes to work much.
        Har har har

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        • #5
          Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

          Hmm the ADA act is quite specific on this point under Sec. 12112. Discrimination, Subsection 5:
          (A) not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity; or

          (B) denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee who is an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, if such denial is based on the need of such covered entity to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental impairments of the employee or applicant;

          Disney will have a hard time proving that one person would represent a hardship, even if that person is incredibly non-productive I'm not sure they can let him go for that alone. Also employers are not allowed to inquire about the nature or accommodation of a disabled person under the law, they can only inquire about the employee's performance and the previous employer is not allowed to discus the accommodation's etc.

          However they may have not had any idea of this gentleman's condition prior to hiring, and I believe it is on the employee to inform the employer of any special needs post hiring via HR (casting in this case) and they should make sure the appropriate accommodations are made and inform the employee's management. If he did not inform them of this need and provide the required doctor's documentation prior to his termination they may be held harmless in the case. I'll be curious to see what happens.
          Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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          • #6
            Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

            The ADA does obligate employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. However, it also requires that an employee be able to perform the core functions of his/her job with that accommodation. Disabled employees are still held to the same standard of performance non-disabled employees are. A disabled employee does not have the right to be unproductive.

            Being OCD doesn't necessarily qualify as a disability either--it depends on the severity of his condition. If he's still able to perform functions of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, etc.) without assistance then he does not, in fact, have a disability. Being overly organized and washing your hands three times in the bathroom, on the surface, doesn't seem to qualify.

            The article didn't state what the employee's job was. If he had a position where he dealt with the public a lot (ride operator, F&B, retail) and a requirement of his job was to be present at specific times, Disney could easily argue that any additional staffing or adjustments of other employees' schedules to accommodate DiMaio created a hardship (the guidelines of what constitutes a hardship are pretty broad).

            We're also in a he-said she-said situation where both sides are saying decidedly different stories. Frankly, I'm more inclined to side with Disney at this point. Of course, I do HR for a living so I'm automatically sympathetic to management. My knee-jerk reaction is this is an employee who didn't want to do the job he was hired for and is seeking shelter under ADA.
            Last edited by disneytim; 10-11-2007, 10:54 AM.
            Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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            • #7
              Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

              Originally posted by tjcjr View Post
              He has been offered multiple roles which he declined and his status remains available for rehire
              If he had been fired then why is he available for rehire. Disney does not rehire fired employees.

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              • #8
                Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                Well see erick, that's the thing. He says a manager fired him, the company says he resigned.

                Nobody really knows enough to pass judgment either way on this, I think. For all we know, he may have issues that may make it difficult to perform any role. Or, maybe not, it could be that he was a bad worker who just also happened to be OCD and is using that to support his lawsuit. Or, maybe Disney's side is accurate and he gave himself the boot without anyone else doing it.

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                • #9
                  Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                  I'm just amazed at the mentality of an individual who gets hired by a company and then wants that company to change their way of business to accommodate his situation. While I have sympathy for someone who is challenged with a disability, I don't agree that he should be able to dictate his own terms for employment.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                    if you noticed in the article it said he BELIEVED he could hold a job. according to disney he quit twice one of the things that has to be proven before taking disability is that you can't work or unable to hold a job and once you go no disability you can't work full time or only a few extra hours a week so he is gonna need lots of money before going on disability. I bet he thinks file a lawsuit get big settlement to make it go away and then don't have to work or can live on government for rest of his life. sad actually

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                      Isn't there places that help people get over OCD?


                      I was watching True Life I have OCD.

                      Those people are perfectly normal now.

                      With as many times as he has resigned he could have gotten help.

                      I hope he doesn't win this lawsuit. Typical person trying to become rich off of some lame excuse.
                      Har har har

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                      • #12
                        Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                        OCD and ADD are real disorders and can be hard on some people. I would like to see where this goes. I hate it when people say it is not a real disorder, it is.
                        Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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                        • #13
                          Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                          Originally posted by Monkey joe View Post
                          OCD and ADD are real disorders and can be hard on some people. I would like to see where this goes. I hate it when people say it is not a real disorder, it is.
                          That's very true. Those are both disorders. Having ADD, believe me, I know. That does not automatically make either condition a disability, however. Again, it depends on the severity of the impairment.
                          Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                            This reminds me of Cartman with Tourette's.

                            But seriously, he "Believed" he could work ... it's not clear if he told Disney of his condition ... most people with OCD know what jobs they can do with their condition and which jobs they can't ... working in the "Customer Service" industry isn't generally something somebody with OCD can do depending on the type of OCD you have (washing hands, cleanliness, counting to a certain number every time you turn on the TV, flip a switch, etc) and severity of the condition.

                            I think we all have OCD to a certain extent, we all have those things that are weird. It's just the ways we deal with them that make us able to function in society.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Disney Faces Lawsuit From OCD Employee

                              I think "getting ready to file a lawsuit against Walt Disney World" is the key here. He wants this tried in the press not in the courts, which probably means he doesn't have a good case. He's hoping to pressure Disney in the court of public opinion. I'm sure he has communicated his demands to Disney already. I have a feeling that this will be the last we hear of it.
                              Last edited by Rixter; 10-11-2007, 02:03 PM. Reason: ten second rule
                              Rick

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