I was in a car accident and became disabled. My employer allows me to keep my job, but refuses to make accomodating changes?

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Question:

was disabled in a car accident and had to take a leave of absence from work to recover from my injuries.  I informed my boss about my disability upon returning to work, and he is threatening to fire me if I can’t do my job in the same way I did before my accident.  All I need to do is sit down while working instead of standing – it would not affect my ability to perform at all – but he refuses to make any changes.  Is it legal for him to treat me that way?

Answer:

No, it is not legal for your employer to treat you that way based on your disability.  Employees who have disabilities in the workplace are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).  The ADA is a civil rights law that protects the rights of disabled employees.  Under the provisions of the ADA civil rights law, when an employee is able to do the important parts of a job but requires some assistance or some provisions made so he can properly perform his job duties, the employer is responsible for making the necessary changes so that the disabled employee can still work.

In the event that your employer refuses to make the provisions required under the ADA civil rights law, you may want to consider filing a disability discrimination lawsuit.  If you do decide to file a case, you should make sure to file your compliant within 180 days of the discrimination occurring so that you stay within the statute of limitations.  Discrimination based on disabilities is illegal and you are protected from the illegal practices of your employer.  To start the process, you should consult with a civil rights law attorney in your area.

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