Thursday, February 28, 2008

Margaret Wente Vs. The Truth

Ms. Wente foams up over a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision:

But rights slice both ways. Mr. Lane applied for a job for which he clearly wasn't suited, and misstated facts to get it. Now he stands to collect nearly $80,000, and he was only on the job for eight days.

From Donna M. Seale's "Human Rights in the Workplace" Blog:

The tribunal concluded that Mr. Lane had been fired as a result of his disability and the perceptions as to the impact of his disability on the workplace. The adjudicator rejected ADGA's argument that it terminated Mr. Lane simply for failing to live up to the essential requirements of his job during his 90 day probationary period. A further argument by ADGA that it had the right to fire Mr. Lane once it found out he had failed to reveal his disability during the hiring process was also rejected. On this point, the adjudicator pointed to expert evidence adduced at the hearing which detailed that persons with bipolar disorder are very reluctant to reveal their conditions to prospective employers due to the stigmatization of mental illness in the workplace and society in general.

And further:

None of the managers who made the actual decision to terminate Mr. Lane took any steps to assess whether ADGA could accommodate Mr. Lane's disability. In fact, the adjudicator pointed out that the key managers who decided to terminate Mr. Lane were completely ignorant of their legal obligations when dealing with a disabled employee. Given that Mr. Lane had specifically revealed his disability to Ms. Corbett and suggested ways he could be accommodated, the adjudicator was astonished that management had seemingly not contacted its human resource department or legal counsel to determine what it should do to carefully manage the situation. Instead, the ADGA manager principally responsible for the termination believed that the information Ms. Corbett had relayed to him about Mr. Lane's bipolar disorder was irrelevant. He based his determination to dismiss Mr. Lane solely on his personal assessment of whether Mr. Lane was capable of performing the job for which he was hired.

Ezra riffs on Ms. Wente in his post "The "human right" to have manic episodes while testing artillery". Its software, Ezra, artillery software. The guy wasn't tapping live shells with a little red hammer.

As an aside, Ezra severely bungs up the facts of this case as well:

Light up a cigarette in an Ontario restaurant, and you're breaking the law. Light up a marijuana joint, and the restaurateur is breaking the law if he tries to stop you.

But, as The Sun story Ezra links to clearly states in the 2nd line, the customer in question stepped outside to spark up his J of medical mary-jane.

There are none so blind as those who cannot read, I guess.

Incidentally, I have to disagree with the Prince of Pot here:

"I don't see people with insulin bringing their syringes out in the middle of restaurants and giving themselves injections," [Marc] Emery, who is facing a 10-year jail sentence at the U.S.'s behest for selling marijuana seeds, said from his home in B.C., noting that since Gibson was drinking alcohol at the time of the Burlington incident in 2005, he could have ingested the cannabis via an alcoholic tincture that would have been just as effective and more discreet.

More discreet, but not nearly as fast acting. That is why these people are provided with the weed itself rather than some orally administered THC compound. (That and, in the case of cancer patients, the issue of trying to relieve nausea with a medicine that must be swallowed).

27 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

Margaret Wente seems to just loathe the fact that "little people" are allowed access to any forum in which their grievances can be arbitrated.

I don't know what's happened to her lately. She's always been supercilious and irrelevant at best (check out today's column...I think she's calling Canadians boring again), but lately, she seems to be plumbing KKKate-like depths of nastiness and condemnation in focusing on particular human rights cases to come to grand conclusions about the whole process and questioning the very assumptions of humans rights protection itself.

...and that doesn't even touch the issue of whether she's got her facts straight in the first place.

I think the poor pseudo-Canadian is overworked....she has to churn out columns in The Globe at a rate that far exceeds the degree of anything meaningful she has to say about anything.

Unless the The Globe is willing to let her go full-metal harridan in her op-eds (something it's done before with disastrous consequences), the editors should put her in the Life section and have her write about bladder medication or something if they can't get rid of her altogether.

Oh well. At least she's not as abysmally stupid as John Ibbitson.

Anonymous said...

Maggy is bang on target, again.

Such faux Liberal outrage, how kind of of you all.

Ti-Guy said...

Such faux Liberal outrage, how kind of of you all.

They're just stringing words together now with no concern over whether they actually make sense.

What outrage? Who's a faux-Liberal?

Conservatives need to be interned if you ask me. They're not going to get any more sensible and their degeneracy knows no bounds, as we are finding out today with the Cadman bribe scandal.

Cliff said...

She's always had kind of a chancy relationship with facts that don't suit her purposes - whenever she gets on the subject of marijuana for instance she just goes off the deep end into complete nonsense 'Todays pot has a particularly devastating effect on certain ethnic minorities' was one of her bafflingly racist lines written in all seriousness.

She rubs people the wrong way in person too apparently - look up the details of her brief tenure as editor at the Globe, she managed to alienate almost everyone she dealt with and was virtually driven out of the job by open revolt in the news room.

Anonymous said...

He based his determination to dismiss Mr. Lane solely on his personal assessment of whether Mr. Lane was capable of performing the job for which he was hired.

How completely brainwashed do you have to be to hold an employer liable for assessing their employee's capabilities? This is institutionalized insanity.

bigcitylib said...

"How completely brainwashed do you have to be to hold an employer liable for assessing their employee's capabilities?"

That's what you have humans relations staff for. Who were not consulted by the employer in this instance.

Honest Troll (aka Not Wilson) said...

Has Margaret even tried THC pills? They are vile and ineffective.

Ti-Guy said...

This is institutionalized insanity.

I don't know...compared to the Conservative Party of Canada, it's seems rather trivial...and certainly less expensive for the rest of us.

Once again, Margaret Wente has succeeded in vastly overstating the issue and contributing to generalised, righty hysteria.

She needs to be deported back to Chicago and water-boarded...it's the only way to find out whether she's part of a network of fifth-column traitors undermining our sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

That's what you have humans relations staff for. Who were not consulted by the employer in this instance.

So many things wrong with this comment.

HR staff are there to administer HR related needs.

They do not assess employee's capabilities, especially in a field like software. That is usually up to the supervisor.

And in any case, to suggest that a government agency ought to review an employer's decision, whether he consulted his HR staff or not, to fire someone who lied about his status on his application, and who in the employer's assessment is unfit for the job, is completely ridiculous - that is why such examples of overreach by the HRCs will be continuously exposed by the likes of Wente.

I feel bad for the guy with bipolar disorder but its not up to the government to make others pay for his predicament.

Ti-Guy said...

And in any case, to suggest that a government agency ought to review an employer's decision, whether he consulted his HR staff or not...

Even with an employer getting government contracts?

You people are so inconsistent about this kind of stuff. You rail and screech about public institutions and what they do with public money, but seem completely indifferent to what private institutions do with public money...institutions over which, we might add, there is very little public oversight until it reaches the courts or human rights commissions.

Anonymous said...

Even with an employer getting government contracts?

Was that part of the reason why the employee received the award?

Regardless, he was not fired because of some bigoted belief by the employer, but because he was not suited for the job, and he lied about it during the process.

Whether a private employer provides goods or services to the government does not mean they can take on unfit employees - they have bills to pay and Im guessing they're hoping to make some profit as well.

It's up to the government to make sure the taxpayers are getting their $'s worth when they outsource for stuff like software - if private institutions rip them off of public money as you seem to imply, they should take them to court over it. Otherwise I dont see how this would give the government control over how an employer treats its employees.

What if this is a small company on the edge of profitability? Will they have to lay off otherwise useful employees because of this award? I dont know that to be the case but it definitely could, and that would be a travesty of justice.

Ti-Guy said...

Regardless, he was not fired because of some bigoted belief by the employer, but because he was not suited for the job, and he lied about it during the process.

Pfft...there are no facts that can substantiate those assertions...none related to lying and none related to job performance, which would have only been established after a record of employment.

I'm actually very much on the side of employers being able to terminate employees based on poor performance but that's something that can't be just done arbitrarily and ineptly.

A lot of this kind of stuff is just upper-right quandrant whinging that expresses the belief, in the absence of any kind of cost/benefit analysis, that these kinds of issues are costing us too much money.

Long story short, it's no wonder Conservatives always spend so much money and end up in deficits. Penny-wise when they want to be nasty and pound-foolish because they're too lazy or too distracted by minutia to think about these things critically.

And that starts with getting the facts straight, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Poor Margaret - she's always grumpy - perhaps she's going through the change and needs a little HRT

buckets said...

Anon 1:33: Poor Margaret - she's always grumpy - perhaps she's going through the change and needs a little HRT.

Which just goes to show that BCL and others are being hypocritical: they don't want the poor mental case to be fired in one case, but clearly want another poor mental case (Wente) to be fired in another. Can't you guys be consistent?

Anonymous said...

buckets - you have an empty bucket for brains.

HRT - is "Hormone Replacement Therapy" that is give to women who are going through menopause to help with night sweats, depression, anger, etc.

Never has a woman that I know of been fired for menopause and taking medication for it.

Duh.....

Ti-Guy said...

but clearly want another poor mental case (Wente) to be fired in another.

I don't want her to be fired. I want her to be re-assigned...to some sort of Laura Schlessinger-type advice column, where she can hector her fellow aging-yuppies who write to her whining about the same things she does...young beige men who scare them and plastic hips.

Anonymous said...

Pfft...there are no facts that can substantiate those assertions...none related to lying and none related to job performance, which would have only been established after a record of employment.

And that starts with getting the facts straight, anonymous.

Sure - couldn't agree more - let's get the facts straight.

From BCL's post, which quotes the decision by the HRC:

He based his determination to dismiss Mr. Lane solely on his personal assessment of whether Mr. Lane was capable of performing the job for which he was hired.

So the employer assessed the capability of Mr Lane and found it unsuitable for the position. That's my first assertion for which you wrongly state there is no factual basis.

On the lying part:

A further argument by ADGA that it had the right to fire Mr. Lane once it found out he had failed to reveal his disability during the hiring process was also rejected. On this point, the adjudicator pointed to expert evidence adduced at the hearing which detailed that persons with bipolar disorder are very reluctant to reveal their conditions to prospective employers due to the stigmatization of mental illness in the workplace and society in general.


Geez ti-guy, both assertions are substantiated by BCL's original post. It's not like I had to dig very far to find support.

Ti-Guy said...

Geez ti-guy, both assertions are substantiated by BCL's original post. It's not like I had to dig very far to find support.

I should know better than to try and get wingers to understand the concept of evidence when they start talking about facts.

Read the link at Donna Seale's blog. "Lying" is not something that can determined by the facts in evidence and the performance issue is just a matter of the employer's guesses.

Remember, anonymous...assertions, even one's that are claim to be factual, are not the same thing as evidence.

Anonymous said...

ti-guy: you really are splitting hairs.


Read the link at Donna Seale's blog. "Lying" is not something that can determined by the facts in evidence and the performance issue is just a matter of the employer's guesses.


before i get suckered into your vortex of non-sense, I will leave you with this and be on my way.

all the italics from here on end are from Donna Seale's blog:

During his interview, Mr. Lane was advised that the position for which he applied could be stressful. He indicated that this would not be a problem for him.

that is a straight-up, outright, complete lie, and it was made knowingly.

Mr. Lane signed a contract which contained a provision stating that ADGA could terminate his employment at will and without notice at any time during the first 90 days.
so HRCs are ignoring freely agreed upon contracts, with the inevitable consequence that employers will be more reluctant than ever to make new hires.

And Im sorry to have to tell you that "lying" is definitely something that can be determined by evidence, and there is nothing in Seale's blog to the contrary.

That he lied and was unfit for the job is not disputed in the HRC decision, nor by Donna Seale. What do you know ti-guy that these people dont? At least, even if these people are wrong, they are upfront about their belief - they believe people with disabilities should be able to lie to get jobs they are unfit for, and that their employers should bend over backwards to accommodate them afterwards. It's wrong, but it's miles better than your hair-splitting, logic-obliterating defense of them.

Ti-Guy said...

before i get suckered into your vortex of non-sense, I will leave you with this and be on my way

I wish I had thought of that before engaging an anonymous retard who doesn't think words have meaning and who, no matter how often it's presented to him or her, is completely indifferent to the concept of evidence.

alfanerd said...

I wish I had thought of that before engaging an anonymous retard who doesn't think words have meaning and who, no matter how often it's presented to him or her, is completely indifferent to the concept of evidence.

ti-guy, has anybody ever told you your posts were more than angry outbursts based on irrational and paranoid delusions? no one, not even BCL (your hero and man-crush), has ever commented positively on what you say because all you ever have to say is angry ramblings.

I mean obviously you support this Mr. Lane because you share his affliction - but rather than feeling sorry for yourself for the pathetic loser that you are, you should go through some introspection and try to be civilized - you will be much happier that way.

you havent presented sh!t - the concept of evidence?? PLEASE. I mean look at this:


A lot of this kind of stuff is just upper-right quandrant whinging that expresses the belief, in the absence of any kind of cost/benefit analysis, that these kinds of issues are costing us too much money.


dude take your meds.

Anonymous said...

It is against human rights codes in general to ask somebody to reveal a disability during a job interview unless it can be proven the disability completely disqualifies you from doing the job. Any answer to the illegal question is pretty much irrelevant and couldn't be used against the employee. "The job is stressful can you handle it?" can in no way be considered a requirement to disclose bi-polar disorder.

Ti-Guy said...

ti-guy, has anybody ever told you your posts were more than angry outbursts based on irrational and paranoid delusions? no one, not even BCL (your hero and man-crush), has ever commented positively on what you say because all you ever have to say is angry ramblings.

And what have you had to say, exactly? I've seen two comments by you, both accusing me of being crazy.

I think you need to take up a hobby, like dating or something.

...and don't worry...contrary to the impression given to you by leading conservative women, *they* actually don't have teeth.

alfanerd said...

non 4:01 pm

it is a relief to see arguments which are more than the rantings of a raving lunatic (ti-guy), even if i disagree with you.

well, you are likely correct that the question of "are you able to handle stress" is not a requirement to divulge bipolar disorder.

However, once the employer believes that the employee is not capable of handling the stress requirement on the job, the employer should be able to let him/her go, especially in a 90 day probationary period.

Anonymous said...

the employer still has to reasonably assess whether it is able to "accommodate the disability to the point of undue hardship". It seems to be that no such assessment took place, merely a knee jerk firing occurred. It isn't a case where it was so obvious the condition couldn't be accommodated that no analysis was necessary. And while a probation period can lessen the bar for getting rid of an employee for many reasons, human rights violations aren't one of them.

bigcitylib said...

Anon 4:41,

That's exactly the point.

Ti-Guy said...

And look how silent Alfanerd has been since someone non-crazy engaged him substantively.

Ingrate.