Im a firefighter who sustained an off duty injury requiring surgical repair with a projected 4 to 6 months recovery. My employer had a past practice of offering light duty for non BWC cases but now has put an end to it .

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Im a firefighter who sustained an off duty injury requiring surgical repair with a projected 4 to 6 months recovery. My employer had a past practice of offering light duty for non BWC cases but now has put an end to it .

Can i still work light duty per ADA guidelines? My employer said that are now
denying their off duty injured firefighters light duty because its not fair to
other departments within the city.

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Light duty is not a legal right. The ADA requires a "reasonable accommodaton"; however a reasonable accommodation is a change in how a job is done, or provision of some assistance device, which is not too expensive or disruptive for the employer and which lets the employee do his job--that is, the job he is supposed to do. The employer does not need to create a different job or role for the employee, or allow the employee to only do some parts of his or her job--the employee must be able to do all aspects of his or her position with the accommodation. Therefore, allowing light duty, which lets an employee do only part of his/her job or a different job entirely, is not a legal requirement but rather is something than some employers voluntarily choose to offer. Since it is voluntary on their part, they could also choose to not offer it.


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