What is an employers duty to provide light duty for an employee who is under medical restriction?

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is an employers duty to provide light duty for an employee who is under medical restriction?

I got hurt while not at work I know have light duty restrictions preventing me from doing some of my job. There is other work available that fits my restrictions. Can I still be laid off from work?

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You most likely can be laid off.

1) First, if the injury does not constitute a "disability"--and many injuries do not--the employer is under no obligation to accomodate it.

2) Second, even if it is a disability, the employer must only provide "reasonable" accomodations, which are accomodations which are not too costly or disruptive; the employer does not need to provide you a new job, other than the one you were hired for. Therefore, if due to the restrictions, you cannot do significant portions of your job, that would likely be considered too disruptive or costly (to keep paying/employment someone who can't do the job), and hence not a reasonable accomodation. The employer would therefore be allowed to terminate you.

The above does not mean that the employer can't voluntarily shift you to a different job or accomodate you--just that there is a good chance they are not legally required to.

Note however that the above is based on general principals. However, the facts of a situation are critical. For a definitive answer, you need to consult with an employment law attorney about the specifics of  your situation.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption