If I have a work assignment that has a negative impact on my mental health, what are my options?

I have been with my employer for over 22 years. I have a history of mental illness (panic, anxiety attacks) which are under control taking 5 different medications. I have been given a possible assignment if there is a work stoppage. Since given this assignment which “we were randomly selected,” my attacks have a returned, I am not sleeping and more. I have met twice with my leadership to no avail. Do I have a right to file an EEOD complaint?

Asked on February 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether there is a "reasonable accommodation" your employer can make--some change in rules or provision of some assistive device/technology, which is not too expensive or disruptive for your employer--which enables to you do the job they gave you. The crux of the matter is, your employer is not required to give you a different job or assignment, or excuse you from important aspects of your job or assignment: they merely have to take reasonable steps to let you do that job or assignment. If there are such accommodations to let you do the job and you have requested them, but have been denied them, you may have an employment discrimination claim. But if there are no such accommodations that could be made to let you do the job or if you are not requesting accommodations but rather a change in job, the employer has done nothing wrong and you would not have a claim.

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