Visitor Question

Employer would not allow me to return to work with restrictions?

Submitted By: Kathy (Milwaukee, WI, USA)

I work for a large company. The company would not allow me to come back to work after my doctor released me with restrictions from a serious health condition for which I was on FMLA. The restrictions did not interfere with my work, and I did not need any accommodations. The employer delayed my return to work for 3 weeks.

The company has allowed other employees to return to work with greater restrictions, and made accommodations in my same department in the past.

I filed complaints with the ERD, EEOC, Dept of Labor, filed an Ethics complaint, and filed a Grievance with my Union. I felt I was discriminated against in 2 ways:

1) They perceived that I had a disability 2) They allowed others to return to work with restrictions, but not me

The company is talking to me about paying me my back wages for the 3 weeks. I also wanted the overtime pay that I missed. They are not coming up with the same figures that I am. They also want me to dissolve the complaints. My wages with overtime are around $8,000.00

What would a case be worth if I sued them? Also, what can these other agencies do for me? 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.


Dear Kathy,

While your employer seems to have displayed inconsistency in its Return to Work policies, their actions toward you do not seem to support grounds for a lawsuit. To have the basis of a civil suit against your employer, you would have to prove your employer’s actions were outside the bounds of its legal ability to re-hire, modify, and/or terminate your employment.

Absent a written employment agreement, your employer has the right to make decisions governing your employment as long as those decisions are not inherently discriminatory.

The Equal Rights Division (ERD) of Wisconsin has the power to investigate claims of discrimination in the workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) is also empowered to investigate discrimination in the workplace.

The U.S. Department of Labor is also empowered to investigate discriminatory practices in the workplace.

None of the above agencies permit an aggrieved individual to receive compensation for purported allegations of discrimination. Your best interest may be served by working through your union.

Learn more here: Returning to Work After Injury

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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