What are my rights if I have worked on my job for over a year in a call center environment but can’t physically do the job that my employer wants to promote me to?

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What are my rights if I have worked on my job for over a year in a call center environment but can’t physically do the job that my employer wants to promote me to?

I started as a agent on the phones and moved up in the company to retention and other avenues. They have recently selected me to be a team lead, which was fine until they demanded that I walk the floor constantly which is impossible due to the fact that I am boelegged in both knees. Now I feel my job is in jeopardy based on comments made by upper management. Can they hold me accountable for this or risk my job?

Asked on February 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

These questions are very fact-sensitive--the exact details matter a great deal--so for a definitive answer, you need to consult with an employment law attorney in depth. That said, as a rule of thumb or general answer, the issue is whether "walking the floor" is a necessary part of the job, and required of other team leads, or if only you are required to do this. If a team lead must walk the floor to monitor, supervise, etc., then if you can't do a necessary part of your job, the company can take employment action against you, up to and including termination.
But if it's not a necessary part of the job, they should have to accommodate you by allowing you to walk less and/or otherwise do the job without walking the floor so much; or if you are only team lead required to do this, they may be discriminating against you due to a disability (your knees). In these cases, you may have an employment discrimination claim IF some negative action is taken against--if you don't suffer any consequences, though, then the case is moot.


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