What if my condition prevents me from doing the job that I was hired to do?

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What if my condition prevents me from doing the job that I was hired to do?

I have diabetes with diabetic neuropathy (numbing of the feet with a lot of pain). I do building maintenance. The size of the building is 200,000 square feet and is very hard for me on my feet. My restrictions are no ladders no lifts. If they let me go would I be able to collect unemployment?

Asked on March 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you condition qualifies as a disability, your employer is obligated to make "reasonable accomodations" to it if you request them. However, "reasonable accomodatons" are either changes in how the job is done, or the provision of some assistive devices, technology, or tools, which is neither too expensive or too disruptive. If you cannot do the job even with such a "reasonable accomodation," you may be terminated--the law does not require employers to retain employees who can't do the work for which there were hired. A maintenance person who cannot handle the demands of walking, climbing, etc. around a 200,000 sq. ft building can probably be lawfully terminated.

If you are terminated, however, you should be eligible for unemployment insurance, since this would be an involuntary separation from work that is not "for cause" (i.e. not due to somethig wrongful you did, like excessive absenteeism, vioating company policy, insubordination, theft, etc.).


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