Is it legal for an employer to discriminate against a medical condition with a doctor’s documentation?

An employer is harassing my mother for her
medical condition, which causes her to
frequently urinate. Her doctor faxed
documentation noting that she must take
frequent restroom breaks, but HR claimed to
not receive it 3 different times. After physically
turning in her medical documents a fourth time,
HR promptly denied her claim, stating her
medical condition wasn’t ‘serious’ enough.
They are threatening to dock her pay for her
restroom breaks, or possibly terminate her.
Can her employer do this? Thanks.

Note She works in Kentucky.

Asked on September 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Federal labor law (e.g. the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act) requires that employers make "reasonable accommodations" to employees with provable or verifiable medical conditions or disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that is not too expensive or disruptive to the employer--like more frequent bathroom breaks (though the employer can require they be short--i.e. no going to the bathroom, then getting a smoke, socilizing, etc.). Your mother's requested accommodation appears to be reasonable, and she has provided documentation of her condition and need for the accommodation: it appears the accommodation should be granted, and that the employer is violating the law by not doing so. Your mother should contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.