Can an employer refuse to accommodate light duty restrictions?

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Can an employer refuse to accommodate light duty restrictions?

I was injured at work. I have a rib contusion, lower back contusion, an elbow contusion and thoracic back strain. I not only host at my job but I am a cook and prep person. At first my employer said they would relieve me of my kitchen duties temporarily, however now they are saying that I’lI be off until I can return to work without restrictions. Another employee fell at work a month or so before I did and she has a brace around her spine and stomach, they accommodated her with no issues and my issues have not been identified as that severe. My restrictions include not lifting over 10 lbs, no bending, squatting, constant chnage in position and simple things like that. Being only allowed to host would allow room for these restrictions to be accomdated considering there I always 2 hosts but they refuse. Do I have a case?

Asked on May 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is only required to reasonably accommodate your medical restrictions. They need not do so if they are unable to accommodate your medical restrictions based on the description of your job duties so any accomaodation may place an undue burden on them. As for their treatment of your co-worker, This mayor not constitute discrimination. It depends on the particular facts and the reason your employer was unable to accommodate you. That having been said, discrimination is difficult to prove. At this point, you should consult directly with an employer law attorney; after hearing all of the details of your situation they can best advise you further. You can also contact the EEOC as it handles such claims.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is only required to reasonably accommodate your medical restrictions. They need not do so if they are unable to accommodate your medical restrictions based on the description of your job duties so any accomaodation may place an undue burden on them. As for their treatment of your co-worker, This mayor not constitute discrimination. It depends on the particular facts and the reason your employer was unable to accommodate you. That having been said, discrimination is difficult to prove. At this point, you should consult directly with an employer law attorney; after hearing all of the details of your situation they can best advise you further. You can also contact the EEOC as it handles such claims.


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