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I am a 58 yr old woman on the job for 18 years. Recently diagnosed

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I am a 58 yr old woman on the job for 18 years. Recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Am currently working 6 hrs per day as 8 was too many. Boss is pushing me to go to 4 hours. She says she will still cover my insurance, but on the ADP records I would show as part time and no longer get vacation or holiday pay. Is this legal?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

If your employer is reducing your hours because of your MS, this may constitute a violation of your rights pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The American Disabilities Act prohibits or "ADA" prohibits employers with 5 or more employees from discriminating against employees who have a “qualifying disability." The determination of what constitutes a qualifying disability is a complex issue, but in general, in order to have a “disability” you must have a mental or physical condition that “significantly impairs a major life activity.”

According to the most recent Supreme Court decision, this analysis requires the courts to review whether the person is able to perform the tasks of daily living (washing, brushing teeth, fixing meals, housecleaning, etc.), and decide if the person is significantly more impaired in those tasks than other persons in the population who are not “disabled.” The EEOC has stated that given its inherent nature, MS will almost always be found to substantially limit the major life activity of neurological function and thus individuals afflicted with it warrant protection under the act. For more information on what constitutes a qualifying disability, visit this link:

If a person is “disabled” in accordance with the ADA's definition, is having difficulty performing his/her job, and the employer knows that the reason for the difficulty is the employee’s disability, then the employer may have a duty to reasonably accommodate the employee, as long as it will not pose an undue burden on the employer to do so. In determining whether a reasonable accommodation is available, and would actually work in helping the employee do his/her job, both the employer and employee had required to talk to each other and consider each other’s ideas. An employee is not entitled to the accommodation he/she wants – he/she is only entitled to an accommodation that works.

Accordingly, before reducing your hours due to your MS, your employer must engage in a dialogue with you to determine whether other accommodations can be made that will allow you to perform the essential functions of your position full time.

So, assuming your employer has at least 5 employees, your employer can only reduce your schedule due to your MS if it is first determine through the "interactive process" that there is no other reasonable accommodation that would allow you to perform your job full time.

Unless your employer is violating the ADA, he or she is otherwise free to reduce your schedule at any time. In fact, very often, a reduced schedule is the reasonable accommodation that an employee receives as an alternative to being let go.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

My greatest concern is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Although I cannot always provide good news, I hope that my answer gives you a better understanding of the law and your rights so that you can obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. Also, please bear in mind that experts are not credited for unaccepted answers, so I greatly appreciate you taking the time to "accept" my answer and leave positive feedback.

Finally, none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.
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