Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Can you please tell me how may employees her employer has? Is there any reason in particular that she is told she cannot sit? Would she be able to competently do her job sitting down?
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Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, employers are required to "reasonably accommodate" disabled employees. "Reasonable accommodations" include any modification to job assignment that allow the employee to remain employed without imposing "undue hardship" on the employer. Undue hardship is defined as significant difficulty or expense.
Your wife's employers clearly has job assignments that can be performed while sitting. The question is simply whether it is a "reasonable accommodation" to limit your wife to these particular assignments rather than giving the assignments to other employees. Very likely this would be deemed "reasonable," since making this accommodation does not impair how your wife's employer actually runs their business, it simply impairs their ability to equally distributing work assignments among their employees. Maintaining a balance of work assignments among employees is not sufficient justification to deny an accommodation request from a disabled employee
Therefore, the best course of action in this circumstance would typically be to send a letter via certified mail to the employer formally requesting this accommodation as a form of "reasonable accommodations" under the ADA. If the employer still refuses to comply, your wife can file a complaint with the EEOC, which is the federal agency that enforces the ADA. Your wife could also sue in civil court for damages.
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