What to do if my workplace doesn’t want to accommodate my disability after a leave of absence but instead wants to extend my leave?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do if my workplace doesn’t want to accommodate my disability after a leave of absence but instead wants to extend my leave?

My doctor has cleared me to come back to work on a modified schedule after being on leave for a disability, and only issue I’ve had with being back is being late a total of 4 minutes over 3 days. My doctor requested to extend my shorter days for 2 weeks and my employer says that this will cause undue hardship which I don’t believe is true because another employee had this schedule for over a year and that they wanted to put me on an extended unpaid leave of absence I didn’t ask for, and basically wait until they say I can come back. They kept emphasizing this leave has no guarantee to job reinstatement. I feel they are pushing me out and feel the only option I have is to resign on constructive discharge.

Asked on August 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Allowing you to work less or have a shorter day is not an accommodation which your employer must make. A "reasonable accommodation" required of an employer is a change in workplace rules or practices, or the provision of some assistive device or furniture or technology, which is not too expensive or too disruptive and which lets the employee do his or her full job. By definition, a short workday is NOT doing your full job, and so the employer does not have to accommodate your inability to work your full schedule (they may, if they choose to, but are not required to). If you can't or don't work your normal full schedule, your employer may take action against you.

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