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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12942
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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We have an employee who was injured out of the work place.

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We have an employee who was injured out of the work place. She has been on leave for about close to 5 months. She returned to work with a grocery list of restrictions. We are a manufacturing company and do not have a job for her to do with all her restrictions. Do we have to take her back? This is not a workers comp case at all. She fell and injured her shoulder and arm at a New Years Eve party.
Good morning and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

If you are a company with more than 15 employees and if this employee's medical conditions qualify as a "disability" (meaning that it "significantly impairs a major life function"), then you would be required to offer "reasonable accommodations," defined as accommodations that do not impose an undue hardship on the business.

It is unlikely that the injuries you describe would rise to the level of disability, but even if they did, you state that there is simply no job available to someone with the restrictions she requires. The ADA requires emplmoyers to engage in an "interactive process" with disabled employees to determine if accommodations can be arranged. Even though it is unlikely this employee's condition qualifies as a disability, it's a good idea to cover your bases and assume that it does. Therefore, it would be wise to correspond with this employee in writing (so there is record of it) indicating why her requests cannot be satisfied and what, if any accommodations, you are able to reasonably offer.

If the employee cannot be brought back on with accommodations that do not impose undue hardship (defined as signifciant expense or impracticality), an employer in your circumstance would otherwise be free to let them go, as employment by default in the state of California is "at will."

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.

Here is some more information of procedures for providing reasonable accommodations:

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.
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