My son is twenty and preparing to start his degree studies in September. He has diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome and dyslexia, but has worked hard to develop coping mechanisms, and neither presents an obstacle most of the time. He is a well-motivated young man with a strong work ethic.
About a month ago, a local hotel invited him to be interviewed for a part-time waitering post he had applied for. He was offered the job and started work last weekend. He was told that during his first 4 weeks of employment, either side could terminate the contract without notice and after that a period of notice would be required. On his first day, he received a brief induction and was given a number of forms to complete, including a medical questionnaire. He completed the form accurately, declaring his disabilities, which he has never made any secret of.
Today, having completed 4 shifts and received compliments from customers, he returned home and told us that he was no longer required as his medical form had been reviewed and it was felt the post was not appropriate to his disability. Yes, you read that correctly, he was being sacked for his disability. He enquired what he was doing wrong and was not given an explanation, but something was said about possible problems with customer interaction (remember he had been complimented a few hours earlier) and speed. As far as my son is aware, he had done everything he had been required to do and had not been given any instructions to suggest he was doing anything wrong or to improve his work. As he says, he could understand if he was not doing the job, but to be dismissed for a disability is just not on!
To rub salt in the wound, it was unclear they had dismissed him as he was told the hotel would consider re-employing him if they had a suitable post, but they would pay him for his other shifts this weekend as a goodwill gesture! Was this to cover their backs I wonder.
As my son was waiting at reception, the manager walked up to my son, gave him a pen, and said to him, ‘Now shake my hand, it’s the normal thing to do.” My son felt offended by his choice of words, that they were patronising and that it was inappropriate to be told that, and demonstrated a complete lack of awareness of his condition.
He is seeking advice on what action might be possible as it would seem the only reason for his dismissal is his disability.