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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20176
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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My wife has a permanent disability but is fully able to successfully

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My wife has a permanent disability but is fully able to successfully perform her administrative management position at a local university hospital. She is an RN working towards her BSN with the ultimate goal of getting an M.A., which is a recently changed requirement of her position. She has been told that there is a hard deadline of Jan 1, 2015 to complete here MA, a date she will not be able to meet, or she will have to step down from her title to a lesser position, although they will expect her to continue to perform the same duties. Although she has been working toward the completing her education, she has had to drop entire semesters because of illnesses and surgeries related to her disability, which has significantly slowed her progress. Is there anything she can do to get an extension of time under ADA?

Thank you for the information and your question. I assume that this hard deadline is a Corporate decision and not a regulatory requirement. If so, the assuming that your wife's inability to meet the deadline is directly related to her medical condition, and assuming that condition qualifies under the ADA as a disability, then your wife has a right to request a reasonable accommodation under the ADA by way of an extension of the deadline. At that point, then employer must then determine if she can still perform the essential functions of her job with that accommodation (which is appears she can) and also that the accommodation would not cause an undue hardship on the employer. I can't foresee a reason why this would create an undue hardship on the employer, so the main questions for your wife, the employer and possibly the EEOC and the courts to decide is whether your wife falls under the ADA and the delay is directly related to her disability.

If she is denied this accommodation, then at that point she can file a disability discrimination complaint with the EEOC. She would also want to sit down with a local employment law attorney who handles ADA discrimination cases to discuss the facts of her case in detail and decide whether or not to let the EEOC finish their investigation and efforts at resolution or whether or not to go ahead and file suit.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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