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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I have a medical disability that is causing me not to be able

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I have a medical disability that is causing me not to be able to perform the demands of my current position. I have been under medical care for around a year and was hoping they could effectively treat my condition so that it doesn't interfere with the responsibilities of my job. Unfortunately, and effective treatment doesn't look promising. So now I'm not sure how to address these circumstances. I'm going to have to present this medical info to my management. I'm concerned that they might put me in another position that doesn't compensate me equally to my position currently. What are my legal rights in these circumstances? Will the law support me requesting a position comparable in pay?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.


Generally, yes,the law does support you in asking for reassignment to a vacant employer position as a reasonable accommodation. The ADA specifically states that if reassignment is appropriate the employer should assign the individual to an equivalent position.

Whether reassignment is appropriate depends on a number of factors. First the job must be vacant - the employer does not have to create new position. The employee must be qualified. The employer does not have to artificially increase the rate of pay of the open position to make it equal to the position you are not able to do. If there is vacant position equal in pay and benefits, which you can do, then that position should be offered to you as an accommodation. If there is an open position with comparable pay, that should be given to you before an open position with non-comparable pay; assuming you are able to do the duties of both.


I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Ok thanks for your reply. I have one more question. What if there isn't a position open that is comparable in pay? Would they have the right to put me in a position that is a substantial decrease in pay. It just seems like the law isn't specific enough.

Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.
Daniel,

The law here is intentionally non-specific because it is a matter of "reasonablness"; not hard and fast rules. First, placing a disabled employee in an open position is considered the "last resort" of accommodations - meaning the employer and employee should have tried to come up with an number of accommodations to keep the employee on his job before considering reassignment.

Next, the issue of the reasonableness of a proposed reassignment (because it is the last resort accommodation) really means the difference of the employee having a job at the employer versus not having one. It's not the employer's right to force the "unreasonable" lower paying job on you. If the job isn't reasonably comparable, you can reject it, but then you're left with no job. In which case you could apply for disability benefits through the private disability insurance and probably social security as well. The point being that the employer neither has to make a position for you that you can do nor may force you to take a non-comparable job. But they would have satisfied their duty to accommodate by offering you the job.
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2822
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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