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


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.

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 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.