Can an employer reduce my pay if I was injured on the job and not be able to perform my old duties?

Im a Detention officer and was injured due to an inmate attack. I have
been on light duty till my back is better but they are thinking that
it wont get better and now they want to reduce my pay and put me in a
lower position. Can they do that if it wasn’t my fault?

Asked on June 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, whether or not it was your fault, your employer is not required to keep you in a position, or keep paying you a certan amount, if you can't do the job: the law does not make employers retain employees who cannot do their job duties, even with some "reasonable accommodations" (minor changes to rules, etc.). Putting someone on indefinite or open-ended "light duty," however, is not a reasonable accommodation, so they would not be required to do that--that is a more extensive and costly change to the employer than the law requries them to make. If you can't do the job, your employer could terminate you; that means they certainly could put into a lower, less-well-paying position instead.


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