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I work in the US. I have to develop some software with a disabled coworker (has disability parking card). He was working on this project alone for a few months and my manager added me to the project to take charge of it. He has accomplished very little so far.
It is absolutely clear that he uses medication which makes him groggy or sleepy or confused at work most of the time. Here are the problems with the disabled coworker:
- Falls asleep during work hours or during remote meetings.
- Plays video games and surfs non-work related websites often and quickly closes them when someone comes near his desk.
- Does not follow simple 2-3 line instructions that are crucial and are applicable to everyone. Ends up getting into issue that could have been simply avoided by following instructions.
- Is a senior employee, but seems to have little knowledge of software development (asks too basic questions).
I had asked him to work on what most beginner programmers would consider a "small" and "easy" problem. But, I saw that he was busy playing games for several minutes, while I was working in parallel to solve another problem in our project. He got back to work when I came near his desk. After more than a sufficient amount of time, he gave me a pretty crude and incorrect solution. I had to finally fix the problem assigned to him. This has happened some more times.
It seems that no one else in our team of 4 has called this out.Unfortunately, my manager works 100% remotely, so he cannot even see this coworker's behavior.
I could talk to my manager about this because he trusts my work ethic and capabilities. But, I am not sure if I should because nothing might come out of it. The manager might discipline him, but he might not be able to do much else because the coworker might be protected by disability law and also because he might have been hired to improve diversity. Then, it would be very unpleasant to continue working with him. Moreover, he cannot be replaced by other team members for this project because the others don't have the skills.
What should I do ?
[EDIT] PS - I want to help my disabled coworker out as much as possible, even if it means doing some of his work occasionally. I could even request for an extra person to be hired to balance work load. If video games (or guitar, meditation, music etc) help him to relax, then we could let him have that. But, the way he has been playing video games is reason to be concerned.
As for the sleeping at work, I don't know if he does that only due to medication and/or due to playing video games late at night. The latter would be a bigger problem for us.