Should I file a federal EEO complaint against my employer for not accomodating my disability?

I sprained my back in early 3 months ago. I was on short term disability until about 2 weeks ago. have currently been placed on unpaid medical leave until I return to work. I do have restrictions returning to work, however my manager is saying I can’t come back to work with restrictions. She says that all of the positions require an employee to lift up to 50 lbs. She won’t try to make any reasonable accommodations for me. She tells the accommodations manager I’m working with that every job requires constant lifting which is not true, since I have worked for that company for almost 4 years.

Asked on June 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not clear that you have a claim. The issue is not whether there are any jobs that could accomodate your lifting restrictions--the issue is whether your job could be done with the lifting restriction, even that required some reasonable (not too expensive or disruptive) changes to how the job was done, or required the provision of not-overly expensive assistive equipment. That is because the issue in regards to reasonable accomodations is whether a reasonable accomodation allows the employee to do his or her job; the employer is not obligated to transfer the employee to some different job, or create a new job for him or her.

If you feel that your job could be done with your restrictions, then you may have a claim and could contact the EEOC or speak with an employment attorney about possibly bringing a legal action.


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