I have a recent injury which caused physical limitations to complete my job duties. What steps can I take to be reassigned to a vacant position, or job restructuring.

I have a recent non on the job injury
which caused physical limitations to
complete my job duties. What steps can I
take to be reassigned to a vacant
position, or job restructuring. How mu h
do you charge for this service.

Asked on March 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You do not have a right to reassigned to a different job. An employer must make "reasonable accommodations" for employee disability. A reasonable acccommodation is a change in rules or procedures, or the provision of some assistive device or technology, which is not too expensive or disruptive (i.e. not unreasonable to do) *and* which lets the employer do all the core or important functions of his or her job. But an employer does NOT need to give the employee a different job. 
Examples:
A cashier normally stands, but has to sit: since you can do the core functions of being a cashier while sitting, the employer must let her sit and provide a chair or stool.
A secretary or data entry person has carpal tunnel syndome: the employer may need to provide an ergonomic keyboard or voice-recoginition software for dictation, assuming that with one or both, the employee could still do his job.
But say a nurse who has to be able to lift/move/support patients, or a person in a company's shipping department who must move/load heavy boxes, comes under a lifting restriction and cannot lift more than 10 lbs. They cannot do their job while only lifting 10 lbs, and so could be terminated from the position; and more relevantly to your question, the employer is under no obligation whatsoever to more them to a "desk" or other job. They must be able to do *their* job; they have no right to a different job. (The company could choose to move them to a different job, but that if voluntary on the company's behalf; they can't be forced to do this.)


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