Can an employer change your position when you immediately come back from disability

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Can an employer change your position when you immediately come back from disability

I came back from short term disability
and in Nov and had my position and
responsibilities changed in Dec. I have
been struggling with quota and now I am
on disciplinary plans and about to lose
my job.

Asked on June 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if they gave you a comparable position--more or less same authority and pay. While the law prohibits an employer from retaliating against someone for using disabiltiy, or from discriminating against an employee due to his or her disability, the employer retains the fundamental right to manage its business and decide what jobs employees will do; they do not lose that basic discretion because of the disability. The law takes a very pragmatic, "bottom line" view of what constitutes discrimination or retaliation: it's a loss of pay or authority, or perhaps transferring the employee to some less-desirable location or shift; i.e. its a very concrete, quantifiable diminution in the job. If this is what happened, contact the state department of labor (for retalation for using short-term disability) or the Division on Civil Rights (for suspected discrimination due to you having a medical condition or disability) to file a complaint. But if you are retained fundamentally the same pay and level at work, that is not considered retaliation or discrimination, even if the new position is not working out for  you, and so you would not have a legal claim.


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