New York State Man With Special Needs Suspended From Job
A Latham man with special needs, and 26 year employee of a Hannaford store, has been suspended from his job for a period of several weeks, according to CBS Albany. The reason behind the suspension has got people talking, with some believing the man got a raw deal.
Brian DiGirolamo has Downs syndrome. His mother, who he lives with, says he was reported to store management for sexual harassment. However, Brian's mother says there was never any harm intended.
CBS says that the 47 year-old DiGirolamo was suspended after complaints from female coworkers that he gave them compliments and hugs. Brian's mother says that's simply how he treats everyone, and that he sometimes has trouble interpreting signals. Perhaps he just didn't understand?
Laurel Kelley, who works with the Capital District Center for Independence, helps train people with disabilities. She says that situations like this can be a two-way street.
The employee with a disability has rights for reasonable accommodations, but the other employees have rights not to be sexually harassed, so you have to balance those two.
Kelley says that more training is necessary, and that this could help employees like Brian determine who wants to be hugged and who may not.
Brian says he doesn't know when he'll be allowed to return to work. Brian's mother says she simply wants her son to be understood.
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