One of my coworkers has narcolepsy and constantly comes in late every day. I've noticed lately that he's been reprimanded for missing meetings that they schedule early in the morning before he usually gets in. Is there anything I can do about this or is it even wrong?

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    Welcome to SO. Would you happen to know the reason what his narcolepsy have anything to do with him coming in late?
    – Isaiah3015
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:01
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    Where are you located? Local laws may affect some of the answers.
    – David K
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:03
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    Are you sure you mean narcolepsy. A condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:04
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    Is HR aware of this guy's condition? If not, why not?
    – user44108
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:13
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    We could provide more helpful answers if you provide more detail about your coworker's situation
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


Is there anything I can do about this or is it even wrong?

There's nothing you can do about this other than talk to your friend.

Your friend however, should talk with his doctor and his manager and see if there's a way to make this job work, given his condition and his accommodations.

If they can't make it work, your friend should get advice from his doctor as to what he can expect to face regarding his ability to wake up at a regular time. Then your friend should seek employment where that can be accommodated.

Your friend should probably get himself to a support group where he can learn more about how others with his condition deal with it and find suitable employment. Then can also advise him about applicable workplace laws in his locale.

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    +1 And I want to point out that all of this advice is for things your friend should do, not you. This isn't your problem to fix.
    – David K
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:47

Go to your colleague and ask them. Bring some helpful information such as what protections your jurisdiction has for people with their condition (see if you can clearly determine that narcolepsy is a disability and show that to them). Tell them you'll support them. Ask them if they'd like you to ask others for support. Determine what can be done to accommodate their condition, like moving morning meetings.

Document when your employer is unfair to the employee regardless. If they are fired, it may become very helpful to them.

Also, you might want to point out why mistreating any employee is bad for the entire company, from negative impacts on morale to bad reviews on social media (such as Glassdoor) that can impact not only recruiting efforts but customer relations as well.

  • See that's the issue. They've already made accommodations for him by moving the morning meeting, but he can't wake up at a reliable time every day, even with medication.
    – Scrungo
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:41
  • Also, he doesn't directly work for my company, he's a contracted employee from a direct contractor we hire from.
    – Scrungo
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 15:43
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    I don't see how being reprimanded for missing a meeting,is mistreating an employee, getting to work on time is the employees responsibility. Based on my research, there isn't a cure to this condition, the employee themselves must make lifestyle changes. If meeting times have been adjusted, and they are still late, then it seems they need to more vigilant about those lifestyle changes.
    – Donald
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 16:51
  • Just to add a comment on @Ramhound (good points), the main issue with this post from the OP (@scrungo) is that he assumes his co workers tardiness is due to his condition. Whether this is true or not, we don't know. Even if it is, it's not an excuse to affect his attendance. I'm more inclined to think that OP's co worker is tardy and using narcolepsy as an excuse.
    – Isaiah3015
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 18:22
  • That's entirely possible. He's a nice guy but he's definitely not the hardest worker. He could be using it as an excuse. He just convinced me that he can't control his sleep schedule which may or may not be true
    – Scrungo
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 13:19

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