Visitor Question

Accommodation after work injury?

Submitted By: A (MA)

I was injured at work when a pile of books fell on both of my feet. After wearing a brace on one foot and an aircast on the other, and going to PT, I was eventually put on duty by my employer’s doctor for 3 days a week. I was progressing well on this schedule, until I was asked to work two shifts which are not well staffed.

I was in agonizing pain afterwards from constant standing and I explained to my co-worker, who does the scheduling, that this caused me to regress so much it shocked the PT. At my follow up meeting with my employer’s doctor I explained the situation. He cleared me to work the original 3 day schedule for another month and continue going to PT.

Two days ago my supervisor told me HR and the department head decided, based on the doctor’s report, that I will only work 2 days a week and those two days will be the understaffed shifts. The reason they provided is that I “will have more time to heal” having an extra day off.

I believe I will be crippled by this scheduling and I believe this has been done intentionally. I think they are trying to force me to quit. Is there anything I can do about this? Can I file a complaint with anyone or do anything? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear A,

Unless you are employed under a written contract of employment or are a member of a union, your options are quite limited.

Without the above, your employer has the right to terminate your employment. Your employer may believe you are malingerer, and as a result, they may have decided to take whatever action they can to force you to quit. Doing so is perfectly legal.

It may be they need to replace you with an employee who will be able to work the hours they need. They may just be frustrated with you. It could be these, or any other reasons known only to them.

As long as they are not terminating your employment based on discrimination, you will have to either accommodate them, or quit. For legal purposes, discrimination is defined as termination based on your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 18, 2015

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Comments

One thought on “Accommodation after work injury?

  1. I’m responding to this reply to state that I am in an union.

    I have gotten much worse on the difficult work schedule, so much so I am in constant pain and have now been placed on sedentary duty until I am seen by a specialist.

    The workingman’s comp doctor thinks I may have CRPS, which I did not have prior to the schedule change.

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