TULSA, Okla. — In a stunning display of cluelessness, executives at TechHealthXcel called a rushed all-hands meeting in the company’s conference room last Friday afternoon.
“Welcome to Disability Employment Awareness Month!” exclaimed Hank Richards, the recently appointed CFO, nearly three weeks into the month. “We take seriously the health of our disabled employees and want to help them in any way we can. But to do that, we need to know more about YOU!”
The room was adorned with hastily taped black-and-white printed pages featuring inspiring words like “Overcome!” and “Believe!”
Richards continued: “As you know, transparency is one of the virtues we hold high at this company, and in the spirit of Disability Employment Awareness Month, we want to start with a prompt: ‘How many people in this room have HIV or diabetes?’”
Failing to get any response from his incredulous staff, Richards moved to his next PowerPoint slide. “Again, this is Disability Employment AWARENESS Month,” he stressed, “so we would like to spread awareness by showing that disabled people can be just like you!”
Forbes estimates that only around 4% of employees voluntarily disclose their disabilities to their employer, which leaves companies guessing how much insurance coverage they will need in order to cover their employees’ medical and wellness plans. However, the vast majority of people with disabilities, especially invisible disabilities, prefer not to disclose their information due to cultural stigma.
TechHealthXcel’s human resources department responded to our inquiry with this statement: “We take the health and privacy of our employees extremely seriously. We want to cultivate trust and openness between all of our employees and, to us, that means disclosing if you have an addiction or are taking expensive medication.”
“We all know what they’re doing,” said 20-year employee Shannon Green. “They do the same spiel every year to try to suss out their most expensive employees. Literally nobody has ever fallen for it.”