How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joseph Your Own Question

Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4864
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been placed on non-punitive administration leave after

Resolved Question:

I have been placed on non-punitive administration leave after requesting reasonable accommodation. Just over 2 years ago I had a stroke while on temporary duty at another military installation. I have been back to work for almost 2 years now. First I was in a wheelchair, then I used a walker, then a cane and now walk aid free. For my past 2 annual appraisals I scored very high and received a rating of highly competent. Recently, my boss asked me to submit a request for accommodation. I have now been placed on paid administrative leave because I can "no longer perform the core functions of my job" although I have been doing it successfully for the last two years. I asked for occasional breaks of 10 to 15 minutes to recover my balance and strength. I have been told that since I require breaks, I am not performing my core functions during that time and that is why I am on administrative leave. They also are questioning my right to hold a CA driver license although I have been told by my physician that I have no restrictions on my driving. I don't want to cause problems, but I am worried that I should hire a lawyer to make sure I am protected. I have been told by HR that if I do, all conversations with them will cease? Any advice would be appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, I cannot give you any 'advice' regarding your situation as that constitutes legal representation and is against the rules of the site.

However, I would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding your situation and am free to give you my opinion regarding them.

You said that your boss asked you to put in a request for a reasonable accommodation? Are these 10 to 15 minute occasional breaks something you need (if so how many) or did you just request the accommodation since your boss asked you to make one?

Also, is it necessary for you to cease work during the breaks?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I have balance issues as my stroke was in my cerebellum. I take occasional breaks of 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a day during my 10 hour shift. I do cease work and sit with my head down to recover my balance.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ian,

So, the maximum number of 10 to 15 minute breaks you would need to take on a daily basis would just be 2 (approximately one in the morning and one in the evening)? Have you been doing this for the past two years or just recently?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have been doing it for the past two years. Recently my boss was given what he considers a poor evaluation, called me in his office and told me that all the examples of why were because of me. I believe that he began this process to retaliate.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ian,

Again, my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I see, thank you for the additional information. I assume that you are a salaried employee, but please let me know if that is not the case.

I do not see how taking 10 to 15 minute breaks (that you actually have been taking over the past 2 years) to occasionally regain your balance and strength would prevent you from performing the core functions of the job.

If you are an hourly employee, such breaks would likely be built into your schedule anyway, since you are entitled to two rest breaks during your shift. If you are salaried, you only need to take a brief break from work and can get back to your work after the break. Since you have been taking these breaks and receiving great evaluations, it is highly unlikely that such breaks can be successfully argued to make you unable to perform the essential functions of the job.

Additionally, if you believe that your boss is retaliating against you on the basis of your disability, you have a claim against him or her for retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.

You can file a discrimination and retaliation complaint using the information available online here:

http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints_ComplaintProcess.htm

It is not necessary to hire an attorney at this stage, but if you are considering suit due to discrimination on the basis of disability (as I think you should), you would want to hire an attorney at that stage if not before. However, it is illegal for HR to refuse to engage in the reasonable accommodation discussion with you because you have hired an attorney.

I am not sure what the essential duties of your job entail also. If it is just office work, then it definitely doesn't seem that your accommodation would interfere with your essential duties. However, if it involves you traveling and requires that you be fully aware and balanced at instillation sites (for liability and safety reasons) that could be what your employer is trying to argue, even though your physician has cleared you of any driving restrictions.

Likewise, if you were to lose your balance (experience vertigo) while driving that could endanger the lives of other drivers, which is likely why your employer is questioning your right to hold a driver's license.

Finally, in addition to the above, I would consider going back to a physician to try to get a diagnosis that such breaks are not necessary (if in fact they aren't). If they are currently, you may want to inquire about any medication or other treatment that may improve your condition as well.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Since my goal is to provide you with the best service today, please don't hesitate to ask any clarifying question or request any additional information you need.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4864
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ian,

I hope all is well! Please consider me if you have any additional legal questions in the future. You can contact me by placing "to Joseph" at the beginning of your question or requesting me directly in California Employment Law.

Thanks and best of luck!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    912
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    912
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    827
    JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PI/PIExpert/2012-7-1_152453_Attorney.64x64.jpg Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    320
    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/phoenixrising119/2012-7-26_11214_043.64x64.jpg melissamesq's Avatar

    melissamesq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    47
    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IG/Iggy1001/2013-11-20_23344_JApic.64x64.jpg Joseph's Avatar

    Joseph

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3098
    Extensive experience representing employees and management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JK/jkiani22/2013-11-18_15348_JacobKiani1copy2.64x64.jpg jkiani22's Avatar

    jkiani22

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    20
    Attorney
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    32
    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.
 
 
 

Related California Employment Law Questions