How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12487
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Employment terminated while injury sustained on the job, failure

This answer was rated:

Employment terminated while injury sustained on the job, failure to accomodate

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you.

What specifically is your question concerning this situation? Also, what was the stated reason for termination and how many total employees are there at the company?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am currently a plaintiff involved in a lawsuit against a law enforcement agency in California. I was hired as a police recruit in march of 2009. I sustained an injury during training. I was placed on TTD. There is a paper signed by all recruits stating that recruits are at will employees. I signed this paper without being given the time to read it in its entirety. 6 months after I was injured I was terminated due to the fact that I would not graduate from a certified law enforcement academy and complete a 12 month file probation within 24 months. The police department said this is a policy set by the state. My legal counsel has found out there is no such rule. Also there were others recruits like me who sustained injuries during recruit training and we allowed to stay in the academy, some were even given civilian jobs. There was no attempt to accommodate my injury allowing me to fully heal from my injury. There was no interactive process either.

Thank you very much for these additional details, they are very helpful. I am still a bit unclear though as to the specifc legal question you would like me to answer.

Would you be so kind as to clarify your question?

Also, if you are already in litigation, are you aware what legal cause of action or actions your attorney has asserted in the complaint??

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My attorney is claiming disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, breach of contract (there is language in the labor agreement that states the municipality will put a good faith effort in finding a suitable civilian position in the event the injured recruit is deemed not able to fulfill the duties if a recruit due to injury. They accommodated other people, but not me and 3 others. Is there merit to our claim. We recently had a settlement conference where the attorney for the city stated, "even though we were not enforcing the policy up to that point, we can decide when and how we can enforce that policy". Is there any merit to that on a legal basis? Enforcing a policy on some but not others at the same time?
Thank you so much for clarifying.

Californa's Fair Employment & Housing Act requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" employees suffering from health conditions which "impair a major life function," as it certainly appears yours did. Accommodations may include permitting the employee to take a reasonable period of time off work to recuperate, and that is what you would be alleging entitlement to under the present circumstances.

Normally, I would say that it would be unreasonable to expect an employer to accommodate a 6 month leave of absence. That is a very long period of time, and most employers can argue that an absence of that length would cause "undue hardship." However, what I think makes the particular facts you have described viable is the fact that other recruits who were injured and off work for presumably comparable lengths of time WERE accommodated and retained.

This, to me, indicates that accommodating your full leave of absence would have been reasonable--if it wasn't possible, then it would not have been done in other instances.

Ultimately, what is "reasonable" is a fact intensive query that requires consideration of voluminous evidence relating to staffing levels, available positions, individual skill sets, financial status of the agency, and more. That said, I certainly think it is possible to succeed in court on the facts you have described.

If I can provide any more specific information or anything is at all unclear, please do not hesitate to ask.

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.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related California Employment Law Questions