Decrease hours

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Decrease hours

Full time County employee in CA who wants to work part time. Would it be possible to request decrease in hours d/t stress which in turn is affecting ones ability to conceive and start a family. Have already requested part time but have been told there are no part time positions. Would a drs note force the county to decrease ones hours to part time if deemed necessary medically?

Asked on August 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, a doctor's note does not force them to create new position for you or otherwise decrease your hours. An employer must make a "reasonable accommodation" for an employee due to a disability or medical need; a reasonable accommodation is one that is not too expensive or disruptive and that lets the employee do his or her *full* job. By definition, working shorter hours is not doing your full job, so it is not a reasonable accommodation--i.e. it is not legally required--to let you work fewer hours. (And creating a new job for is also, by definition, not doing your existing job, so that, too, is not required.)
Furthermore, the courts do not recognize work-stress as being a condition requiring *any* accommodation, which makes sense if you think about it: most jobs are stressful, so if work stress required accommodation, every employer would have to accommodate almost every employee and employers would lose their control over their jobs and workplaces. Rather, the recourse for a too-stressful job is to seek a less stressful one elsewhere.


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