What rights does my father have at work concerning his asthma?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What rights does my father have at work concerning his asthma?

My father has worked for an aerospace company for 40 years and now they are

threatening to fire him. He has a doctor’s note on file saying it’s

Asked on November 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what his job is and whether it can be done only in a clean room. An employer has a legal obligation to make "reasonable accomomdations" to an employee disability or medical condition. A reasonable accomodation is a change in how or where the employee works, or the provision of some assistive devices, which is not too expensive or disruptive and which lets the employee do all the core or important functions of his job. For purposes of this answer, we assume that setting up a clean room is expensive and/or disruptive, so for your father to work in one, he'd have to work in an existing one. If the nature of his job, however, is such that he can't do core or important parts of it in the employer's existing clean room[s], assuming there are such already existing (e.g. he has work on machinery or components or do tasks not located in the clean room), they do not have to accomodate him--they have a right to require him to do the job he is employed to do. And if he cannot do that job--or cannot do it safely (since they don't have to incur liability on his behalf)--the may terminate him.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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