Friday, December 15, 2017
Business

Is depression diagnosis boss' business?

Q: For the past five years, I have suffered from depression. During that time, I have been on and off medication, but I have never told my employer about this problem.

During my recent performance review, I received a "needs improvement" rating for the first time, which was very upsetting. Do you think I should tell my manager about my depression?

A: Before deciding whether to share this information, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons. If your employer is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then identifying yourself as "disabled" may provide increased legal protection and job security. If that is your goal, you should contact the EEOC to learn how the ADA may apply in your situation.

On the other hand, revealing a psychiatric diagnosis could cause management to view you differently. This may not be fair, or even legal, but such labels can nevertheless influence perceptions, consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, you need to consider how your particular manager is likely to react to this news.

But perhaps the most important question is this: Do you currently have the ability to make the changes requested in your performance review? If so, you may be able to improve your rating without ever mentioning your diagnosis.

Clear goals are key to tough managing

Q: My boyfriend, "Doug," was recently promoted, but he's having a lot of problems. He is now supervising his former boss, who is unhappy about being demoted. On top of that, the assistant manager applied for the job and resents the fact that Doug was selected. Their negative attitudes have spread to other employees, who are becoming insubordinate.

Doug is expected to clean up this department, which is a complete mess. But he has no management experience, and these toxic people seem to feel they can run all over him. He is feeling really stressed out. Do you have any advice?

A: Poor Doug. The transition to management is difficult enough without having to supervise the staff from hell. To survive this trial by fire, your boyfriend needs a clear plan for change and strong support from his manager.

First, Doug and his boss must agree on specific goals and expectations for the department. Once the objectives are established, the two of them should make a joint presentation to the staff. These rebellious folks need to understand that Doug has the unequivocal backing of higher management.

Next, Doug must develop a performance management strategy for each staff member. Good performers should be recognized and appreciated, borderline employees must have a coaching plan, and anyone who refuses to "get with the program" needs to go away.

With the most difficult employees, Doug should emphasize that he wants everyone to succeed, but the definition of "success" includes a helpful and cooperative attitude. If some people continue to be obstructive, then Doug should request management's support in facilitating their departure.

In interview, address firing delicately

Q: Are applicants required to tell a potential future employer that they were terminated from their previous job? If so, how should this be done?

A: In an interview, you are under no obligation to reveal the fact that you were fired. At the same time, however, you never want to lie during a job search. To walk this fine line, you need to realize that there can be many honest answers to the same question.

One way to avoid this dilemma altogether is to reach agreement with your former employer on what reference checkers will be told. Despite your termination, management may have no desire to interfere with your re-employment. They might therefore be willing to describe your departure as a resignation.

If this option is not realistic, then you will need to devise a suitable explanation along the lines of, "We agreed to part ways because it wasn't a good fit." Your objective is to avoid giving the interviewer a reason to worry, so you must craft a response that doesn't raise any bright red flags about either your competence or your attitude.

Comments
Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

In 2010, Florida was in the throes of an unprecedented housing crisis. One in every eight homes was in some stage of foreclosure. Today, the foreclosure rate is one in every 83. Because of that enormous drop, Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund will s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

By ELAINE KURTENBACHTOKYO — Global inequality has stabilized at high levels in recent years, a report said Friday, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe. The World Inequality Report ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

Associated Press NEW YORK — After years of tremors, the earthquake that had long been predicted finally shook Hollywood. Disney’s deal to purchase most of 21st Century Fox ends the era of the "Big Six" major movie studios, toppling one ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Published: 12/15/17
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Published: 12/14/17
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Published: 12/14/17
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Published: 12/14/17
Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Even though the United States Men’s soccer team didn’t qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, that hasn’t diminished local fans’ excitement about the upcoming international event.Ariel Martinez, owner of Best Buy Soccer and Lacrosse, has already receiv...
Published: 12/14/17