Fired while on limited work restrictions

I got fired for refusing to work beyond my doctor’s written restrictions. His actions went beyond the firing, he purposely humiliated and told me to gather my personal belongings, I went into my office to do so, he followed me and he attempted to close the door but the doorstop jammed it about halfway, he scared me to the extent that I was in tears and hardly able to gather my belongings. I’ve been employed with this company for almost 18 years.

Asked on December 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Your rights depend on just what the restrictions were about. If they were for a permanant disability you may have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or under other federal law protecting  those with a recognized disability from discrimination. Under such a circumstance, an employer cannot treat a worker less favorably solely because they have a permanent disability unless the employer cannot make a "reasonable accomodation" if doing so would the employer "undue hardship" (i.e. would cause significant difficulty or expense for them). However, if you have a temporary disability, you have no rights here. The fact is that light duty is something that is at the discretion of an employer; if they claim that they have no light duty then they do not have to provide it, even it if i under doctor's orders (unless not doing so violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract).

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Your rights depend on just what the restrictions were about. If they were for a permanant disability you may have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or under other federal law protecting  those with a recognized disability from discrimination. Under such a circumstance, an employer cannot treat a worker less favorably solely because they have a permanent disability unless the employer cannot make a "reasonable accomodation" if doing so would the employer "undue hardship" (i.e. would cause significant difficulty or expense for them). However, if you have a temporary disability, you have no rights here. The fact is that light duty is something that is at the discretion of an employer; if they claim that they have no light duty then they do not have to provide it, even it if i under doctor's orders (unless not doing so violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract).


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