An Interview Steve Brown
NAME OF COMPANY:
Browns Home Heating and Air Conditioning
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY?
We focus on indoor air quality, the air we breathe and the safety of our customers. It’s our priority that people feel safe in their homes
YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU HAVE AN EMPLOYEE IN YOUR COMPANY WHO HAS EPILEPSY – HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN WORKING FOR YOU?
Our employee has been with us for more than 15 years
DID YOUR EMPLOYEE DISCLOSE TO YOU THAT THEY HAD EPILEPSY PRIOR TO YOUR HIRING THEM?
Yes, I did not feel that it would be an issue; the individual was well controlled, however since then their seizures have become frequent and some days can be very ‘rough’ for all of us. We care about employees. It is hard to watch someone’s life change so drastically. Epilepsy affects the entire work family.
DO YOU FEEL THERE HAVE BEEN ANY CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH EMPLOYING SOMEONE WITH A PERCEIVED DISABILITY?
I don’t really feel that it is a disability, but rather a lack of awareness and understanding of what the disease is and can be for an individual. It can be cost prohibitive for an employer – if I were to send two employees to a job site when only one was required, but by making reasonable accommodation we have been in a position to adjust.
YOU MENTIONED ACCOMMODATIONS; WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE YOU MADE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEE?
Well, driving has been an issue for them, so in house responsibilities have seemed to work for us and our employee.
WOULD YOU HESITATE TO HIRE SOMEONE WITH EPILEPSY IF THEY OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF?
I’m not saying that I would go out our way advertising for someone with epilepsy, but I would treat that person (applying) with respect – if they can do the job, why not? Don’t they deserve a chance just like everyone else?
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT FIRST RESPONSE PROTOCOL TRAINING YOU OR YOUR STAFF HAVE RECEIVED?
We have first aid training through St. John’s Ambulance training and verbal direction from our employee. I think we could probably do a better job.