What rights doI have as an employee to light duty?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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What rights doI have as an employee to light duty?

I work in a call center and recently suffered a stroke. My job requires repetitious typing all day so my doctor requested that I be put on light duty due to my right side and lower back being affected by the stroke. I was informed none was available. In a call center light duty can be something like walking the floor to assist other agents. These duties are assigned daily by all team managers and I have observed many agents as floor walkers from the day I was denied light duty. I feel my employer was not truthful with me and because of it this has cause financial hardship because I am not able to type for 8 hours.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under federal law, an employer may not discriminate against a disabled employee, and the impact of the stroke on you may well qualify as a disability. Not discriminating in this context means making "reasonable accomodations" available. A reasonable accomodation is a change in duties or some assistance/assistive technology which is not too expensive or too disruptive; it also does not require creating a new job, where there is not a valid need for one, and the employee must be able to do the position he or she has or is given as an accomodation.

From what you write, you may be the victim of employment discrimination,  since you describe a situation where is a job or function you can do, which does not involve creating a new position or displacing another worker from his or her job. At the least, based on what you write, it would be worth your time to meet with an employement law attorney to discuss the situation in more detail. Good luck.

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