A reader writes:
I work in a call center of approximately 2,000 employees of which 1,500 are customer service representatives. In order to accommodate such a large staff, we have completely revamped our parking policy. In the past, our CSRs were allowed to park on our main campus for one reason or another. The campus has parking for 410 employees only, so some of our middle managers were forced to parked at one of our two satellite locations. To better align our parking based on role, the company moved all CSRs to one large satellite location which accommodates over 1,000 cars and provides shuttle service to transport our associates to and from. All middle managers and above are now assigned a specific space on campus.
We have also doubled the number of handicap spaces to accommodate our associates in need and they were assigned as well on a first come, first serve basis. How do I say to our handicapped associates, who did not get an on-site space, that there are no more handicap spaces available? Our senior management is totally against saying this right out, and wants me to find a way to say no without really saying no.
The law does require that we provide 1 handicap space for every 25 spaces we have on our lot. That we have done, plus extra handicap spaces have been provided. We are out of handicap spaces and have provided on-site spaces, but not handicap spaces. Now, we have no spaces left. How do we say this in a nice manner?
Why? Why wouldn't you want to provided handicapped employees with spaces that are easier on them?
Is there some problem where employees are pretending to need handicapped parking when they really don't? I mean, in junior high I used to keep an ace bandage in my locker so that I could wrap up my wrist with it and pretend to have a sprain so that I could get out of gym class, but I really doubt that you have a bunch of adults who are feigning disability.
So assuming that you have employees with a genuine need, give them the spaces.
And if you don't want to -- which I find inexplicable -- then there's a little law called the Americans with Disabilities Act that's probably going to require it anyway. Explain that to your senior management who are making this request of you.
If this means that some of your managers have to park in the satellite lot and ride the shuttle, well, so be it. Assign the remaining spaces based on seniority. If the ones who have to take the shuttle complain that they should get a closer space over someone with a disability, that'll tell you a lot about their character.