Is a 100% return to work policy legal?

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Is a 100% return to work policy legal?

I’ve had my hip replaced. I will not be able to return to work without restrictions. My employer has a 100% return to work policy. Is this against the law, the ADA policy?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against employees on the basis of a disability, such as a physical disability. Employers are required to make "reasonable accomodations." There is no bright line as to what is "reasonable," but examples involve letting an employee with mobility issues sit more  of the time; buying devices that magnify computer screens or use voice-recognition software for those with vision problems, or phones with amplifiers or visual voice mail for the hard of hearing; restructing jobs to require less lifting; etc. The caveat is that the modification can't cost the employee too much (again, no bright line rule) and the employee still must be able to do some available job for which he/she is qualified by education, experience, training, credentials, etc. If  you feel you are suffering discrimination, you should speak with an employment attorney who can evaluate the situation with you.


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