Can my employer lay me off due to disability? 11 Answers as of September 05, 2012

I was recently diagnosed with chronic back pain and now my employer is questioning my working ability. My MD says I can continue to work with limitations and accomodations.

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WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
Yes. They only have to make "reasonable accomodations" not every accomodations. Be careful using the term "lay me off" That is limited to lack of work separations. Mis use of the term in an unemployment claim likely will cause you to be disqualified for fraud. You may want to consult with an attorney that handles discrimination cases.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/5/2012
KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
He can lay you off for anything that he would like. I would advise you to get a Dr's note citing any limitations and then requesting an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That could give you some protection.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 9/5/2012
Fisher, Butts, Sechrest & Warner, P.A. | Matthew W. Birk
Probably not, but I need more information. The key is whether you are able to do your job functions with reasonable accommodations.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/5/2012
Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP
Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP | Britany M. Engelman
Typically an employer must provide accommodations for you to continue to work. If you are being discriminated against due to an injury, you should consult with an employment attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012
Nancy Wallace, Attorney at Law
Nancy Wallace, Attorney at Law | Nancy Wallace
California is an 'at will' employment state, so the employer can terminate you for NO REASON. If the reason for the termination is inability to perform all essential job functions, the employer has a VALID reason for the termination: the employer hired a worker capable to all lifting and all bending and all weight-bearing assignments, and now is presented with a worker with limited functioning...a worker he would never had hired initially. IF YOU CAN PROVE you are fully capable of performing ALL ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS no limits on the essential job functions at all you should hire an ADA Attorney. In an Americans With Disability Act action, the worker has to prove his job has 'essential job functions' and modifications around his disability still allow his to perform all 'essential job functions' despite the physician-prescribed limits. The clearest test case was the court clerk whose essential job functions was to deliver case files; her knee injury stopped her from taking stairs, so she used the handicapped ramp a few yards away. She was terminated for being restricted against stair use, the employer insisting her job required the use of stairs. She won millions in the ADA Action because she proved using a handicapped ramp let her continue her 'essential job function' of delivering case files to the judge within minutes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012
    Arkady Itkin
    Arkady Itkin | Arkady Itkin
    You should submit the required medical documentation regarding your limitations to your employer and formally request reasonable accommodations to your disabilities from your employer and work them toward mofidying your duties.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Not if you'r disability was "work-related." You could sue under a woorkers' comp. violation. I sue all the time under your same circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Steven Miller | Steven Miller
    Sorry about your situation. Here are some options and for you to consider. The Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") applies when there are at least 50 employees or more in the company. The general rule is, that if the sick person has worked full time, at least one year before taking time off, that person may be entitled up to 12 weeks off, and the company has to allow them back upon return. So: If the criteria above is not met in full, the company does not even have to hold your job open. Alternatively, and it may or may not apply here: If the injury or sickness which caused the time off, was as little as 1 (one) percent work related, then there is a possibility that the employer may have to keep a job open for up to 12 months, and the size of the company may not matter. I am not a workers comp attorney, so to see if you qualify under this other theory, you should seek out the services of one of those types of lawyers. Sometimes employers can do things that are legal on the one hand, but don't seem morally right on the other hand There are a lot of "immoral" things the employer can get away with. If you really feel you were wronged, you have to sometimes get a little creative, and if this means fighting fire with fire, so be it. At times like this you may wish to consider the famous story of Al Capone. He was a gangster in the 1920s, where the government was angry with him because they knew he did stuff wrong (e.g. murder, robbery) but could not get evidence to put him away to prison ON THOSE LEGAL THEORIES. What the government did was find a "DIFFERENT THEORY" and they got the result they wanted, they got justice, as they put him away for tax evasion. Now how does this story relate to you? If you can't get them for "wrongful termination", you need to look at other aspects of your job, for an opportunity to seek legal justice not on the theory that is dear to your heart, but on other issues of possible illegal misconduct: 1. Did they provide you with breaks? 2. Did they pay you properly, including any overtime? 3. Did they make you incur any expenses for work that you were not reimbursed for (e.g. uniform, special shoes, cell phone, gas, etc). 4. Did they pay you your pay check using an out of state check causing you to go to a check cashing place or incurring a fee in order to get your money? If any of these kind of things occurred you might be able to get justice against the company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Coane and Associates
    Coane and Associates | Bruce Coane
    This is a very common scenario. You do have legal rights but it is very tricky to assert them properly. We represent individuals in this situation. Without a written contract, an employer can let you go for any reason or no reason at all. Of course, there are laws that protect people with disabilities, but they can lay you off and argue about it later (while you have no job).
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Jennifer L. Gottschalk, Esq. | Jennifer Gottschalk
    The employer may be required to provide reasonable accommodation. First, though, the employer may require a physical with their own doctor.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston | Maxwell C Livingston
    Did you get time off for the workplace injury (as FMLA requires).
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/5/2012
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