Can they force me to drive the company vehicle with residents inside?

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Can they force me to drive the company vehicle with residents inside?

I work for a nursing home as an activities assistant. A couple of years ago I got a chauffeur’s license so I could take residents to local places in town or to one of the neighboring towns. I have anxiety issues, so when I got the chauffeur’s license I was informed that I would not have to drive to places that I was uncomfortable with. Fast forward, now my company has lost their regular driver so the administrator, director of nursing and other supervisors are trying to get me to take over the transportation, even though my main supervisor director of activities has told them no. I think I may get fired over refusing this, yet being a driver was never in my job description. Is there anything that I can do about this?

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You may have protection under the "Americans with Disabilities Act" (the ADA). Under the Act, an employee with a recognized and documented disability may receive a "reasonable accomodation" in in their workplace (not all disabilities are covered). Assuming that yours is, then your employer must try to make a "reasonable accomodation" for you at work. However, if this will cause your employer an "undue hardship", then your disability need not be accomodated and you can be terminated. That is unless you have protection under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. If you feel that they can accomodate you but you are terminated anyway, then you can contact the EEOC (which is federal) or the state agency which monitors workplace discrimination and/or speak with an employment law attorney who can better evaluate your situation.


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