Causes of Underemployment.

For those of you who are able to work, but cannot find employment, I was wondering what you think the cause of this might be. For example, is it lack of transportation, experience, education, etc.? By "employment" I mean something commensurate with your abilities and experience. Something that you think is reasonable and beneficial for you.


Re: Causes of Underemployment.

1. Unable to drive/lack of public transportation- my daughter who has LTE, hasn't driven for many years.  So for her to work, my husband or I have to take and pick up.

2. Memory problems- when she tries to find a job, most now have pre-employment testing- simple math and general knowledge questions. She has low IQ and many short term/long term memory problems. It is impossible for her to pass the test to even get an interview.

 3. Co-workers fears/concerns- She had went to a trade school and has early childhood training. She had worked at a daycare, but her bosses were concerned because her seizures returned, uncontrolled. I don't blame them really.


Re: Causes of Underemployment.

I'm on Disability and I can't work even if I want to. I've tried to see if I'm allowed, and they told me the only work I'm allowed to do is at home or on line, working on-line is non-existent, and if anyone knows of any kind of work I can  do @ home, let me know. Disability isn't much money every month, but at least now, I have some type of medical coverage, and it pays for my drugs.

Re: Causes of Underemployment.

I'd add that a big issue would be how laws are structered in this country.  I have a great job and try to miss very little work, but cannot get FMLA protection for my job due to my epilepsy  because even though my hours are perfect for my condition, I do not work enough to be covered by FMLA even if I never take a day off work for sick leave or vacation. I am educated and make a good wage. I work part time and am able to support may family by working part time and not having to work full time.  I have been lucky that I have missed very little work so far due to Epilepsy. 

The other issue is that in this era of accomadation, it is still difficult to get accomadations made and agreed to, even minor ones and the bigger the corporation, the slower the process is.

Education can be an issue because there can be barriers to learning that may or may not be realized, something as simple as classroom lighting, learning style, ability to cope with the disruption of seizures, the side effects of medications and trying to find a treatment that works, not to mention the hours spent at appointments.  If this is taking place while some one is in school, it affects learning an knowledge retention.


Re: Causes of Underemployment.

  I believe that employers view us as a liability as opposed to an asset.  For those of us who experience the side effects of these AED's including memory, speech/communication, etc., we may be viewed as being unable to perform our duties.  Some may consider us "not wanting to participate/communicate" or "not applying yourself".  In many cases, we don't "communicate" because we tend to come acrossed as being "idiots" due to the fact that we often have speech issues.  The lack of effort reflects the fact that it may take us longer to comprehend something.  In this case I can understand while an employer may not want us in a "time sensitive" position but that doesn't mean we are not employable.  Employers fail to realize that, for most of us, once we learn something, we tend to be very good at it.  Because of the fact that I do have memory issues, I believe that this is why I am such a good organizer.   In some situations we are considered to be disabled.  In my opinion the employers should take full advantage of everything the government offers for employing the disabled instead of thinking of us as liabilities or poor performers.  The fact of the matter is that most of us can excel at any job that matches our abilities.  It's a pride issue of proving your worth. "If you (employer) are patient enough to allow me to learn, you will find out that, not only can I perform this job, I can do it very well." 

 Some of this may be healthcare expenses as well.  With the cost of healthcare, it's only a matter of time that all individuals that have some sort of chronic disorder are going to find it difficult to obtain and retain work.  It is getting to the point that some employers refuse to hire anyone that is a smoker.  Now granted, this is a self induced medical liability.  However, how long is it going to be before this "screening" gets down to us?  (Before you say "they can't do that" all I have for you is two words, "prove it").  I have seen people who have lost their jobs after making a major claim.  I know of an individual that lost his job after the employer became aware of the fact that his wife had been diagnosised with cancer.  I know an individual that was curiously fired within two days of notifiying the employer that he required surgery.  I know of an individual that was terminated while in a hospital bed.  I believe that medical expenses is now another unofficial reason for our employment issues. 

I am now going to return to school for a degree.  In many of our cases, our grades/GPA will not reflect our abilities due to the side effects of these AED's.  This is why I did not pursue college.   Being that legitimate accredited colleges now make it possible to earn a degree sitting behind your own desk, this will make it easier for me.  I also have issues with memory, concentration, etc.  Because of the fact that all of the class studies will be in writing, I don't have to worry about not comprehending something before the instructor moves on.  Even if there is a "web cast" involved, I can still record it and review it as many times as I need to.  This will nullify the education excuse.  I believe that everyone should take advantage of the online college opportunities.   

This may be a situation where some of us may want to consider some type of employment within the medical field.  X-ray tech, physical rehab., EKG/EEG tech's, etc.  Hopefully, employers within the medical profession will not be as judgemental. 




Re: Causes of Underemployment.


This topic caught my eye because I've lived with epilepsy all my life and have been fortunate to maintain employment with Honeywell Inc. here in the Twin Cities in their Punch Press department for over 31 years before I retired.  Also, I was able to learn a lot in dealing with all kinds of disabilities as a Charter Member of Honeywell's Council of Employee's with Disabilities, serving 2 terms as its president.  Then in 1993, I was appointed by the Corporate Director of Diversity of Honeywell and others to represent Honeywell "as its companies Corporate Representative to the Employer Committee of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, in Washington; as we sought to teach and help national employers how to interpret and deal with diabilities under The Americans with Disabilities Act."

Your right in one respect, employers and people are often reluctant to accept the disabled or epileptic as they are and for what they are. I view this as an inborn psychological factor that people have about the disabled being different.

On the other hand, few employers and people even recognize what we pointed out "that the disabled employee often has more integrity relative to their job responsibilities, as well as a better attendance record." The reason for this is really quite simple and goes to the root of most people with disabilities concerns "they value their job opportunity, seek to do their best, and be promotable, when possible."

These things might sound like a lot to accomplish, but it can be done through faith, hope, and perseverance. You begin by learning your own situation as best you can. Establish a relationship within your local Epilepsy Foundation within your state. As they often have groups of people with epilepsy, seeking employment, or learning how to live with it. Understand others, so as to recognize yourself more fully, as well as attain any guidance your foundation may offer.

When I was first employed in the Punch Press Department, no less; as well as operated multi-slides and 150 ton blanking presses; "I began by establishing a dialogue about my condition with my supervisor, medical personnel, union officers, and my peers, so as to avoid the fear that others could have about having a person with epilepsy work with them or under them."  I believe that step in itself enabled others "to accept me as I was and reject the thought of woorying about me, I was open and willing to help others understand and learn about epilepsy."

Those are some of the most important factors that I view, as I look back to my past employment and seek to lead my life today as a retiree and senior citizen. 

Re: Causes of Underemployment.

I was told "Due to the severity and complexity of your (my) disabling condition, the
department (Rehabilitation Department) is unable to provide services which will likely
lead to adequate employment at this time." They noted that I did not concur with this
finding, but at this time I had just about memorized Joseph Heller's "Catch-22."

This was after I graduated magna cum laude from SJSU with a BS degree in Business and
minor in Psychology; I was always a "Dean Scholar," 34th in a class of 1304, GPA of
3.75/4.00 scale in my major, GPA of 4.00/4.00 scale in my minor, and membership in a
few honor societies.

Economic problems in my family precluded immediate graduate school. I had a near
100 percent favorable response rate to my employment resume, but the results always
proved unfavourable after the oral interview. After seeking advice from my former
University Professors, I disclosed my handicap on my employent resume and the favorable
rate declined by more than 50 percent and still no favourable oral interviews; I then
sought protection under the Rehabilitation Act with Federal employers.

After a thousand-plus resumes and hundreds of interviews overall, I continued with the
Rehabilitation Act's "administrative remedies" with the FDIC, IRS, and OPM to the
exclusion of the GAO, DEA, DOT, and many others.

They were all for trainee positions paying a little less than $20,000 a year; with
the FDIC I was both a direct applicant and a nominated "Outstanding Scholar" candidate.

Transportation wasn't an issue; experience wasn't an issue, but the FDIC did try to
raise it as an issue in hearings, to no avail since they hired less qualified people
who had no experience and less experience than I had; education wasn't an issue as I
exceeded all the education requirements; connections seemed to have played a slight
role but were not decisive (i.e., relatives of bankers were a bit more frequent than
average, and the IRS had a few "friends" ranked disportionately skillful in oral skills;
with the IRS, my written test had the highest score for the group in central California;
with the FDIC, my written exam was amongst the top third in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For the IRS there were about twice the number of willing applicants than positions
available; for the FDIC there was a one-to-one match of willing applicants as
positions needing to be filled (OPM officials told me the FDIC was legally required
to give me the job because of this and in that they missed the time limit to have me
removed from the OPM certificate for any claims of my not being qualified for the positions
(i.e., they would have to hire me, and then fire me for good cause).

The IRS said I wasn't selected because of poor ranked performance in an oral exam that they
claimed I passed; OPM claimed the oral exam was a pass/fail exam and not a ranking
exam. The oral exam had very strong statistical correlations with the written exam,
with one extreme "outlier" (me) more than two standard deviations from the grouped remitted
(or whatever my Stat professor called it at the time) regression line; I was far far
away from the dense regression line, even much further away than everyone who failed
the exam! And many many more minor technicalities galore!

The FDIC said I failed the oral interview (claimed not an exam) mainly for what they claimed
was poor "eye-contact" and a lack of motivation "revealed" by unemployent (other
applicants had less employment then I did; the FDIC immediately destroyed the oral
interviews forms on me (forms that stated "Retain For Possible Appeals") because of
the "Paperwork Reduction Act") and many many more minor technicalities galore!

I'm running out time for editing now, and I don't know which part you may be most interested
in, or not at all.
With ten year old court cases and discovery laws, I culled a lot of perks about how people
with epilepsy affects other people. With employment, I am at the top till I open my mouth.
Speech therapy, Dale Carnegie, etc. doesn't help; interviwers will say there is nothing
wrong with my speech or what I say, then they will write down that I am just "creepy."
Judges will assume I can't be both successful and handicapped; one judge told me being
a Bank Examiner was too mundane and beneath me for my intellect and I should be a scholar
(was he joking, insulting, or serious?(he couldn't seem to keep his eyes off the cover of
my Rabelais book); another judge told me I failed everything and I should take
responsibility for it and quit whinning (was he well founded or just assumed epileptics
were necessarily failures?).

So anyway, I think "Social Skills" are probably the primary factor, but after studying
psychological testing (one of my best subjects) and experiencing complex epilepsy with
the behavourist philosophy of B.F. Skinner, Who decides what a "Social Skill" is?
Who decides how to measure it? Who decides how to use the measurement? Is it valid
and objective? Or is the notion of "Social Skills" so vague that the notion can be used
to label "creepy" epileptics like me (or anybody else that is different) as undesirable with a
simple two-out-of-three majority vote while denying that it is just a biased "gut" feeling
against "those, you know" people? And, statistical analaysis is prohibited in handicap
discrimination cases under the Rehabilitation Act. I should have majored in Medievel
philosophy so Maimonides could guide me in my perplexed state.

Re: Causes of Underemployment.

It is important to distinguish between "social skills" in the workplace and university
versus "social skills" in a job interview.

And certainly, speech impediments are not a lack of "social skills," even though a
Federal District Court Clerk once refused to listen to one of my relatives
read to him over a telephone what I was writing down on paper since a seizure stole my
voice that morning; once, a Federal guard also refused to read my written word in
response to his security questions, and refused me entry to the court building since I
"refused" to orally answer his questions before I could attend a hearing by the EEOC
addressing possible accommodation for my handicaps. Another EEOC judge terminated a
conference call for a hearing, and the hearing, because of sporadic speech gaps from
seizures I was sufferring at the time; how does discrimination in the address of
discrimination cure the discrimination? I hope it is not a fact that people
who can't speak at all don't have any legal rights and are held to lack "social skills"
overall, especially since I am frequently in that group from the effects of epilepsy,
but it certainly appears that way, and all promises of accommodation are just tokens
for a very select few to be flashed about for publicity.

I believe social skills in the university more closely match social skills in the
technical workplace than either match social skills in the job interview (my university
wasn't a mail order unversity); the first two never ask why a person wants this job
and other general job interview questions, personal relationships with the interviewer
are generally frowned upon (especially when a TLE sexually apathetic Tadzio is before
them), you don't split work with the interviewer, and the interviewer is suppose to be
objective and address valid factors, not subjective "feel good" sensations judged by
illusory skills in "reading people" with self-assured blind guesses based on, at best,
a very limited history. Prospective appealate lawyers, who warned me of the futility
of seeking any justice with discrimination laws in a Catch-22 society, joked that the
the FDIC wanted someone with bulldog tenacity to elicit incriminating information from
recalcitrant bankers (what a great Social Skill!, but probably better than just giving
them a few trillion dollars to trickle down with) and got me, who bit them in their
Catch-22 hindquarters and took them ten years to finally beat off! But my voice is so TIMID!

Aspects of psychological testing in an oral interview are polluted by many more factors,
mainly the interviewer and his/her own bag of luggage, than written psychological testing
(though you have to be aware that a person with eye problems instead of speech problems
might suffer from the inherent bias of the test, but with "eye-contact" being so
important otherwise it is the catch irrelevent). Even then, as the MMPI so greatly
illustrates with Temporal Lobe Epileptics, social skill "cookbooks" are better at
cooking the cook than the subject. By the way, since my time's up for now, which part
of the social bus does this great society dictate the epiletics to ride, so we can try
to minimize the tension epilepsy gives to other people?

Re: Causes of Underemployment.

I reviewed my oral exam papers from the IRS again./977827

I am still trying to figure out what exactly triggers people to make adverse
assumptions across the board as soon as they hear words like "epilepsy," "disabled,"
"speech impediment," and "handicapped." This has been a frequent phenomenon even
at this web site. When individuals in authority base their reasonings on such adverse
assumptions many absurd results generally follow, and there's no shortage of lemmings
without any concern of such waters. My philosophy professor cited Bertrand Russell
to me in his advice not to use reductio ad absurdum so freely, as I was no Aristotle,
but with assuming authorities it is too easy and tempting, despite the dangers of
offended authorities; with your studies you probably know many more instances in
classical logic of it than I do.

Well, the IRS used a four factor pass/fail oral exam as a ranking exam with the
general key of:
5 = excellent, 4 = very good with room for improvement, 3 = good, improvement will
come with practice, 2 = improvement needed, but satisfactory performance, and, 1 = less
than satisfactory.
Pass was defined as all factors better than 1, with an overall average of better than 2.
Each factor's score was determined from the two interviewer's written evaluations
recorded during the exam.

There was a very strong correlation with the written exam, namely: a written exam score
of 97% to 91% correlated with an oral exam score of 5, 90% to 86% with 4, 85% to 81%
with 3, 80% to 75% with 2, and less than 75% with 1.

My written exam was highest and scored at 97%, the most frequent written evaluation
from the interviewers was "very good," but only in my case was the evaluation "very
good" determined to be a numerical score of 3, and the numerical score placed me
furtherest from the regression line as a statisical outlier.

The "Certificate of Eligibles" was ranked from highest written exam score to lowest
passing written exam score, so I was at the top with one exception of a veteran who
had five points added to his score for being a veteran. The selecting official said
he followed the "rule of three," where the first position is filled from among the
top three applicants; of these three, the official said he selected the one with the
highest oral exam score first then by written exam score, but no allowance for passing
over a veteran, so the veteran got that position. For the next position the unselcted
applicants were placed back on the certificate in their original position, and the
"rule of three" was applied again. After an applicant was in a "group of three" by the
"rule of three" three times, the official could exclude that individual from the
certificate and from further consideration for selection, unless one of the three
individuals selected was rescinded from selection then that excluded individual would
be returned to the certificate for consideration for that position with the rescinded
selection (what jargon!).

Anyway, I was excluded from the certificate after the third selection, but I was not
returned to the certificate when the third selection was rescinded, and a person with
the same oral exam score as mine, but a written exam score of 82% was selected instead.

Since I wanted the job I filed formal appeals, then formal complaints, over the
incorrect use of the certificate and handicap discrimination complaints.

Everyone involved made the assumption that my written exam score was very low,
and that I failed the oral exam, as soon as they became knowledgeable that I claimed
to be a protected handicapped individual under the Rehabilitation Act. When exam evidence
to the contrary was presented to them, they would discount it as irrelevant for the
matters at hand and argue about something else (such as I didn't look handicapped, and
nobody involved could discriminate because they didn't even know what a handicap code
was, that they weren't neurologists so they didn't know or assume I was epileptic and
didn't believe me when I told them, since I was then speaking, etc.). One judge even
told me that the interviewers, who both claimed to be totally ignorant of any of my
handicaps and totally unbiased, probably rated me "very good" because they felt sorry
for anyone in my physical condition; he told me that just after he told me I didn't
present enough evidence to be found handicapped and/or regarded as handicapped.

The EEOC engaged in the same conduct, as did their Administrative Law Judges, the lawyers,
the Merit System Protection Board, Employment Counselors, Rehabilitation Counselors,
Congressmen, casual observers (wasting tax payer's dollars), federal judges, and
appellate judges (the Supreme Court refused to consider my appeals). The last printed
legal citation to the oral exam cited that I failed my successful oral exam.

I can still mention that I was not selected for a government job, despite my high
written test scores and outstanding scholar status, because of discriminatorily lowered
oral exam scores, and it is immediately assumed my "very good" performances (despite
epilepsy), were failures beyond any possible accommodation and not to be tolerated
in any working social situation. Sometimes I'm given the label "idiot savant" since it
is impossible to argue about prejudice across every possible field all at once. And all
I can expect is that nothing matters for gainful employment except something else that
hides another absurdity for now, and by the authorities, all the previous absurdities
are irrelevant, though they continue to be cited as absolute necessities by the very
same authorities. Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" is overly optimistic, and maybe if I beat
a dead horse enough the flies will stay away a while longer.

Re: Causes of Underemployment.

Most workers are having a desire to have an extra income besides their job, and they are in a condition called underemployment. Underemployment is where a person has a job – they aren't unemployed – but they work for lower salaries or below what their aptitude would be – say if a lawyer can't get a job as an attorney, but works as a paralegal just to pay the bills. The number of under employed is almost double the number of unemployed workers – and that many more people are still worrying about if they need payday loans – though the security of employment is a comfort, they still are wondering when they'll be back in a job they were accustomed to.