The MetLife Meat Grinder: A Significant Public Health Concern

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This is what I think of when I think of MetLife’s Short-term Disability Insurance Product. Image Credit: Shutterstock

In preparation for my upcoming defense against criminal and civil charges filed recently on behalf of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), here I wish to document and explain the machinations of an internal, reusable process that MetLife has in its Human Resources toolkit and which not only did the company use to unlawfully terminate my own employment on May 19, 2017, but which the company is also free to use whenever it wishes to shirk its responsibilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Armed with this cold, algorithmic process — I have come to think of it as the MetLife Meat Grinder due to the trauma it can inflict on a person with a psychiatric disability — the company can dismiss with impunity any otherwise qualified employee with a psychiatric disability and simply for having that disability[1].

Such a discriminatory dismissal is supposed to be unlawful under the ADA.

Furthermore, the MetLife Meat Grinder is potentially damaging not just to thousands of the company’s own psychiatrically vulnerable employees, but is also potentially damaging to the psychiatrically disadvantaged of any company that offers MetLife’s Short-Term Disability Insurance product to its employees as an employee benefit. It’s important to recognize that this may represent not thousands but millions of potential victims of the MetLife Meat Grinder, making this process a significant public health concern.

The MetLife Meat Grinder

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If you have a psychiatric disability and believe it to be covered by MetLife’s Short-term Disability Insurance product, be very, very careful about filing any claims. Image Credit: Shutterstock

What I’m calling The MetLife Meat Grinder is a re-usable process that MetLife has developed and which can be used by the company whenever it wants to shirk its ADA-mandated responsibilities. Beginning in late October, 2016 and continuing till today, my family and I have been suffering from the inside the debilitating effects of this process, which not only traumatized us, not only jettisoned us all into an unpredictably long period of financial free-fall due to the loss of my job, not only caused me to fail at the job I finally found five months later, but is in fact now threatening to result in a criminal conviction, all because I have dared to complain and to keep complaining about the MetLife Meat Grinder.

I urge you not to underestimate the public health risks posed by The MetLife Meat Grinder. Not only does it jeopardize the health and safety of every MetLife employee with a psychiatric disability, but this inhumane device can actually be exploited by any other company that offers the MetLife Short-Term Disability product to its employees as a so-called “benefit”. This is a potentially huge number of people whose psychiatric disabilities are being exploited to protect and pad the bottom line profits of MetLife and the companies that purchase MetLife STD insurance for its employees.

Here is a summary of how it works:

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    If you have a psychiatric disability and need to take time off work to recover from a flair up of symptoms, please use extreme caution with MetLife’s Short-term Disability Insurance Product. Image Credit: Shutterstock

    When an employee with a psychiatric disability attempts to use the MetLife Short-term Disability Insurance product while on a doctor recommended medical leave, the MetLife Claims Department takes a very long time to process the claim, during which time the employee has no income, which puts intense financial pressure on the employee to return to work before his or her symptoms are being properly managed, thus increasing the likelihood that the employee will manifest potentially disruptive psychiatric symptoms in the work place.

  2. When an employee with a psychiatric disability requests reasonable accommodation for that disability, the Human Resources Department takes a very long time to process the request, during which time the employee is required to work without the necessary accommodations while continuing to fulfill all of his or her professional expectations, putting unreasonable stress on the employee and again increasing the likelihood that the employee will manifest potentially disruptive psychiatric symptoms in the work place.
  3. When an employee with a psychiatric disability is working full-time and waiting for requested reasonable accommodations, the employee’s manager assigns tasks that are unreasonably difficult, thus increasing the employee’s stress and the likelihood that the employee will manifest potentially disruptive psychiatric symptoms in the work place.
  4. When the employee with a psychiatric disability becomes symptomatic on the job under the above described conditions, the employee’s symptoms are deliberately misconstrued as violations of company policy and the employee is fired for these alleged violations.
  5. Following termination, any formal complaints (e.g. EEOC) or lawsuits are settled in mediation for a price that is far below the true actuarial present value (APV)[2] of the employment opportunity that has been lost by the employee.

Please let me know if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the above.


[1]e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, etc.

[2]An APV is a rational estimate in today-dollars of a stream of future payments (e.g. salary, bonuses, benefits, etc.), discounted according to interest, mortality and other relevant contingencies. For more information on APV, see the Wikipedia Article.

Seal of the EEOC

I Confess! — Another Open Letter To Victoria A. Lipnic, President Trump’s Fox-in-Hen-House Acting Chair Of The EEOC

Trigger Warning: I don’t do trigger warnings (yet).

Hello Ms. Lipnic,

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Image Credit: EEOC webpage

While you are pondering yesterday’s only-seemingly-bizarre question, (“What would you do if President Trump grabbed your ‘pussy’?“) I would like to take this opportunity to confess to you publicly that I have recently committed a (non-violent) felony cyber crime in peaceful protest of, well, pretty much everything a sane person would protest nowadays, but especially the following somewhat exhausting but certainly not exhaustive list:

  1. That a bumbling, deceitful, childish, impulsive, pathologically ignorant misogynist like Donald Trump is my President, and thereby armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and the world’s most powerful armed forces.
  2. That President Trump promoted you in January 2017 from your 2010-Obama-appointed bipartisan role as one of several EEOC Commissioners to your current fox-in-hen-house position as Acting Chair (boss) of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In case you seriously don’t realize it, you are a fox in the EEOC hen house because you used to work for Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, one of the top anti-Labor law firms in the world, and you are in fact still so chummy with your former Seyfarth Shaw colleagues that they actually call you “Vicki”. Also, by your own admission you have long believed and stated that you see your organization as the “underscore employment opportunity Commission”, suggesting that the notion of Equality will be thrown under the bus if necessary to further Trump’s agenda of creating jobs for the Country’s white men so that they can feed their livestock, servants, children, and wives.
  3. That you gave a private pep rally[1] to your former Seyfarth Shaw colleagues on Feb. 9, 2017 to assure them all that thanks to your new and powerful role at the EEOC it was going to become much easier for them to defend an employer’s freedom to exploit, abuse, and illegally fire their underprivileged but otherwise qualified employees.
  4. That one of your former Seyfarth Shaw colleagues — Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith — appears to have been so emboldened by your Feb. 9th pep rally, that in retaliation for the two EEOC charges I filed in 2017 against his client and my former employer MetLife, Mr. Smith subsequently felt entitled to plan and inflict upon me and my family an ordeal that was so psychologically grueling that now I feel subsequently entitled, in the first place, to describe it as a form of gang rape, and second, to commit the aforementioned non-violent yet highly illegal felony cyber crime to protest this gang rape, along with everything else I’m protesting, including…
  5. That because Donald Trump is now our Man-Child-in-Chief, and because he promoted you to your fox-in-hen-house role as Acting Chair of the EEOC, I have been fired illegally twice this past year for being autistic, and without any legal and effective means of redress.
  6. That the first time I got fired in the past year for being autistic, the company (MetLife) had the nerve to allege to the EEOC that I had been fired for “inappropriate behavior” — a lie which Donald Trump’s “Grab’em by the Pussy” Administration has rendered completely obsolete and utterly impossible to tell anymore with a straight face [ironically, the Trump Administration’s total abolition of the archaic, arbitrary, and ethnocentric notion of “appropriate behavior” is really the only good thing that Trump has done for the USA].
  7. That the second time I got fired for being autistic this year, the company[2] had the nerve to allege in writing that they were firing me because they were going “…in a different direction with the role going forward” — another completely obsolete lie that no employer should ever use again (especially if they really do need to go in a different direction with a given role, so as not to aide and abet illegal firings by providing cover for them).
  8. That because I have no legal and effective means of redress for all of these items (not to mention everything else I’m protesting and which is not listed here), I am forced now by my conscience to risk the possibility of imprisonment and a criminal record in order to protest these items.

With respect to that last item (8): In other words, I’m committing this civilly disobedient felony in part to protest the fact that I must actually resort to committing a civilly disobedient felony in order to protest that I must actually resort to committing a civilly disobedient felony in order to protest…etc., etc., ad infinitum. Yes, yes, I know, right? That infinite regress certainly does seem bizarre, doesn’t it? But it is not really bizarre when you think it through, and for the same reasons that the Trump Administration has made it perfectly not bizarre for me to ask the President’s Acting Chair of the EEOC what she would do if the President of the United States of America grabbed her pussy.


[1] In the following bone-chilling video, watch how often her former Seyfarth Shaw colleagues refer chummily to Ms. Lipnic as “Vicki”. Also, at about minute 9, Ms. Lipnic explains her nightmarish vision of her organization as the “underscore employment opportunity” Commission, strongly suggesting that going forward the whole Equality thing was more a decoration than anything truly functional. This meeting was nothing less than a pep rally she gave her former Seyfarth Shaw colleagues to assure them that it was going to become much easier for them going forward to defend an employer’s freedom to exploit, abuse, and illegally fire their underprivileged but otherwise qualified employees.

[2] I have not yet revealed the name of my most recent ex-employer, but for reasons that are becoming untenable by the day.

Walrus Revealed!

Today, and for the first time on this blog, I am going to reveal my secret identity. For the sake of consistency I might still use “The Walrus” as a nom-de-plume, but going forward it won’t be a secret anymore. But I do wish to explain why I am doing this, so let’s start with the following background:

A few weeks back I chose to publicly expose the identity of the man who both organized and took the lead in the gang rape I endured last year. A Partner at the notorious anti-labor law firm of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, the man’s real name is Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith, though before I published his name I had been referring to him on this blog as ‘Batman’ (for reasons that seemed much more important then than they do now).

In the event that you have never been raped yourself, or perhaps just haven’t thought or talked or read enough about rape to really understand what it means to get raped, and also in the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I see it as my civic duty to inform you here that when I say that I was gang raped last year by Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith along with roughly a dozen of my former colleagues at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), and at least 3 employees of Donald Trump’s so-called “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission, themselves working under the protective “leadership” of Victoria A. Lipnic, current Acting Chair of the “E”EOC, who not only used to work at SeyFarth Shaw, LLP, like Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith still does today, but who in fact held a pep rally at the offices of Seyfarth Shaw on Feb. 9, 2017, where she reassured Mr. Smith and the rest of her former colleagues that going forward the “E”EOC was going to sidebar “Equality” in favor of “Employment Opportunity” (Ms. Lipnic has stated publicly that she views the “E”EOC as the (merely) “EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY” Commission, suggesting that although the whole equality thing won’t be forgotten, it will surely be thrown under the bus whenever necessary in order to make sure all the able bodied, neurologically normal white men in the USA have jobs so that they can feed their livestock (cats, dogs, horses, goats, wives, mistresses, girlfriends, and kids) — when I say all of that — I am in fact using gang rape as a metaphor for what I actually endured, which is that my rapists conspired to deprive me of my legal rights as a disabled person (I’m autistic), and as guaranteed by the American’s With Disabilities Act, which is supposed to be enforced by the EEOC, but which almost always is not because most complaints are simply dismissed and returned to the plaintiff with a so-called “Right to sue” letter, which would be more aptly called a “Right to go bankrupt in an expensive court battle, unless the perpetrators were dumb enough to leave sufficient evidence of their criminal behavior” letter.

However, I cannot stress enough that for my part — when viewed from my own subjective perspective — this admittedly real distinction between getting literally gang raped, say, in the traditional prison-shower sense of the word and getting gang raped in some figurative sense is simply not that important. Again, not that important to me — the guy that got raped. Believe me, I do understand that you almost certainly disagree with me on this point, for now at least. And it’s not like I think it makes no difference at all. Clearly it does, if for no other reason than that getting gang raped in a literal, prison-shower sense is also physically dangerous, and indeed I am grateful that my physical body did not need medical attention or to heal afterwards, but at the end of the day rape of any kind — literal, figurative, etc. — is first and foremost a psychological trauma. What these folks put me through (and my family as well, indirectly) was nothing short of a cruel mind-fuck of an experience.

But all of that is a far, far too complicated way to say that which is best put most simply in terms of gang rape — yeah, sure, “in a figurative” sense if it makes you feel better, but just know that it doesn’t do anything for me — you know, the guy who got raped.

Or “thinks he got raped”, whatever.

So, that’s the background. Now, let’s return to the real point of this post, which is basically to simplify my life by telling the Truth about who I am. As you may know, I recently launched a totally new spinnoff project called The Diversity Acceptance Project. One of the basic principles of that project is the idea that when we do what I’m calling (for now) Diversity Acceptance Consulting, we re-purpose or upcycle everything we believe to be somehow broken or wrong about ourselves into a credential for doing our work as Diversity Acceptance Consultants. For example, although I plan to specialize in autism awareness, understanding, and acceptance, I have quite a few other things wrong with me that I want to use for this work as well. Psoriasis is one example (others could be given), but in particular I’d like to make use of the above mentioned gang rape experience in order to raise awareness, understanding, and acceptance of rape survivors. This means that if I want to write about that experience on the blog at diversityacceptanceproject.org I have to figure out some way to do so without revealing my secret identity, and I find I’ve been wasting too much time recently in an effort to figure that out.

So this is me throwing caution to the wind:

My real name is Daniel L. Scholten, and this is what I look like on a good day:

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Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

 

 

 

Rape Is Not Really About Sex: The Rape Spectrum

I’d always heard that rape is not really about sex; it’s about power. But one thing I’ve learned from relentlessly studying my own experience being gang-raped last year, is that rape need not actually involve any physical violence, necessarily, nor even any sort of physical contact at all. If you’ve never actually been raped yourself, this is probably going to sound completely nuts indeed, but it’s actually possible to rape someone merely by looking at them.

If this sounds impossible to you I would guess that it’s because you are misinformed about rape in the same way that autism researchers used to be misinformed about autism, because they didn’t realize that autism is best conceptualized as a spectrum of disorders, with great variability being observed across the entire population of autistic people, and all of these blending more or less seamlessly into the general population.

I suspect rape is like that — best conceptualized as a spectrum, with some cases of rape being perhaps more obviously examples of rape than others, but all of them recognizable as rape nonetheless — most especially by the survivors.

 

 

 

I Was Gang-Raped by MetLife Employees: Another Open Letter to the People of Earth

Dear Earthling,

I think you should know that I was gang-raped by roughly a dozen employees of the so-called Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, a.k.a. MetLife, my former employer.

I’m guessing you’ll find it super important that I’m using the term gang-rape here in a purely figurative sense. I too would have thought as much, back before I got gang-raped, and especially before I spent months obsessing about the ordeal and trying to figure out what to do about it. But I have recently reached the other side of all that insanity, and I’m happy to announce that when considered from this new perspective, the real differences between literal and figurative gang-rape are simply not such a big deal.

Please don’t misunderstand me here. Of course an old-school gang-rape in the literal sense could be and even most often is worse — even much, much worse. But I can easily imagine cases in which the rapists might take extreme precautions against physical injury, disease, and pregnancy (perhaps by using gloved and lubricated fingers to gently rape a man’s anus) , which would in no sense change the fundamental nature of the crime, nor mitigate the ensuing psychological consequences. To my view, such a physically gentle, injury- , disease- and pregnancy-free crime would be no less a gang-rape than, say, the infamous football-team-beneath-the-bleachers variety.

In my own case, the perpetrators indeed took extreme measures to prevent physical injury, disease, and pregnancy — but I really couldn’t care less about any of that. These individuals nevertheless gang-raped me, in my opinion (for now, at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that might change my mind). Much of what I have written in this blog documents my sincere and enthusiastic attempts to find some other way to describe the experience[1], but after months of trying, I have utterly failed to find any other way to put it that doesn’t cause a serious misunderstanding between me and anyone I might wish to tell: you, for example.

Please know that I am fully prepared to endure and respond effectively to any skepticism or objections you or anyone else may have with respect to what I’m claiming here. Especially if you are one of the perpetrators, or a MetLife employee or officer, or a member of the company’s governing board, or a stockholder, or really anybody at all with a stake big or small in denying what these MetLife employees did to me, I am ready for all of you. So please, don’t be shy about expressing yourself or sharing your thoughts and concerns with me.

Finally, as a rule, no matter who we are, no matter what problems we have or ordeals we endure, somewhere out there someone else has it worse — much worse. I am quite certain, for example, that you in particular, whoever you are, at some point in your life, were quite possibly really gang-raped in a way that by comparison makes my own ordeal look like a nice back massage.

If you are such a gang-rape survivor, or indeed anybody else who has had a rougher go of things than I have in Life, and this due to any reason at all; please know that any advantages afforded me by my obviously much lower martyr-status — for example, those resources (financial or otherwise) that I have come to control by virtue of the fact that I am a college-educated white man of middle-class upbringing living in a world that was mostly designed by and expressly built for guys like me (or at least, the ones who aren’t autistic) — I wish to assure you that I am wholeheartedly committed to applying those advantages to the task of making the world safer for you and for everyone that matters to you.

If you have any suggestions for how best to do that, I would love to know about them.

Thanks for reading this.

Sincerely,

The Walrus


[1] For an example of such an attempt and general overview of the events in question, see An Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director.