What are my options

I am employed in the IT field. I have only been working at this company for 8 months. I had sudden pain was sent to hospital May 5 for a slipped disc that blocked my artery and nerve. This affected my vision. Per doctor I am not allowed to drive or work. I have started physical therapy and told my employer per doctor I will be able to return to work 3 days per week for 4 hours per day. on 6/6. They said if I was not able to work 5 days/8hours/week then my employment would be terminated. Is there anything I can do to keep my job if not will I be eligible for unemployment. I live in Pennsylvania.

Thanks

Asked on June 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is not a a reasonable accommodation to go from working 5 days/8 hours per day, or 40 hours per week, to 3 days/4 hours per week, or only 12 hours per week (30% of the time): a "reasonable accommodation" for a medical condition is a change in rules or procedures, or provision of assistive technology, that lets you do the job--but working only 30% of the time is not "doing the job," and the employer does not need to create part-time position for you when they want or need a full-time person. Therefore, they may terminate you for this reason. There is no way to keep your job if the employer doesn't want you on a less than 1/3 time basis.
Technically, the termination would be "for cause", for absenteeism (missing work), so if your employer reports it that way to unemployment, you would not receive unemployment benefits. You could appeal any such denial and might win the appeal due to a medical condition causing the absences, but it is not  at all certain that you would.


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