Is it legal for my company to put me on personal leave because I was recently diagnosed with an inguinal hernia and can’t lift over 10lbs without surgery?

I’ve only worked for them for 5 months and they won’t let me be a door greeter which requires no lifting at all. I’m not getting paid for this personal leave and I can’t apply for unemployment cause technically I’m still employed. I know it says that you can’t collect umemployment if you just quit, but it says you can if you quit with good reason. Is my situation a good reason to quit and be able to collect unemployment? Also, can my employer hold me hostage by keeping me on personal leave without pay?

Asked on September 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were not hired as a door greeter, your company is not obligated to make you one--they are not required to allow you to do a job other than the one for which you were hired. If you cannot do the job you were hired for, your company could terminate you or place you on leave. If your leave is open-ended or indefinite (no end in sight), however, it may be that you have been or would be considered to have been "constructively terminated," or effectively fired; you may therefore be eligible for unemployment compensation.


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