Is it legal for my employer to force me to use a wheelchair to accommodate standing restrictions set by my doctor?

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Is it legal for my employer to force me to use a wheelchair to accommodate standing restrictions set by my doctor?

Due to foot deformity causing pain in the last year, my doctor advised to leave retail for a desk job. I work for a large telecom company with no current vacancies, so HR wants to contact my medical provider to put me in a wheelchair. I can walk. he doctor simply advised standing no more than 15-30 minutes per hour. No seated jobs available in the company.

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there are no seated jobs, but you can't stand for prolonged periods, the employer would seem to be able to require you to use a wheelchair or some other way to avoid excessive standing--or they could even potentially fire you, since while an employer must make "reasonable accomodations" for disability, an employer is not required to employ someone who cannot do the job for which he or she was hired.

The above is a general answer: in a case like this, the specifics are critical to determining your rights. You should review the specifics of your case with an employment law attorney or contact your state's equal/civil rights agency for guidance. Good luck.


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