What ot do if at work I am expected to move fixturing that is over 100 pounds but I am a 59 year old female with arthritis?

UPDATED: Apr 7, 2012

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What ot do if at work I am expected to move fixturing that is over 100 pounds but I am a 59 year old female with arthritis?

How can I refuse without losing my job?

Asked on April 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employer needs to make "reasonable accomodations" for employees with disabilities (e.g. arthritis), but not due to age or sex/gender; therefore, if there is something the employer could do, which is not too expensive or disruptive to its operations, to allow you to do your job--such as by providing a dolly, or pulley, or other assistive equipment; or having you  move lighter products while others move heavier ones (and doing so does not disrupt operations)--they probably need to do this under the law.

On the other hand, if there is no reasonable accomodation to your arthritis which would let you do your job--anything they could do would be too costly or disruptive--or even with a reasonable accomodation, you still could not do the job (such as because you are too physically small, or your age does not permit), then the employer could terminate you. The law does not require an employer to pay or retain employees who can't do the job for which they are hired; it's simply the case not every employee may physically be able to do every job (for example, firefighters can be legally required to be able to carry an adult male down a ladder; people who cannot do that do not have to ve hired as firefighters). It may be that you have a job which is not possible for  you.

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.

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