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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20301
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Oregon - Employee SAIF Claim - SAIF has now closed the claim,

Customer Question

Oregon - Employee SAIF Claim - SAIF has now closed the claim, after making the employee see another doctor for a 2nd opinion. That doctor said that work injury is resolved & SAIF is now closing the class. Now the employee is complaining of a completely different issue, of back pain, unrelated to the workers comp claim.
The original physician he saw sent us a modified work release due to this unrelated injury. It is saying that he can only work for 4 hours per day and with restrictions on lifting, pushing, pulling,etc... We are a concrete company and do not have work available with these modified requirements. Do we have to offer him modified work, since this is completely unrelated to the workers compensation claim?
BOLI told us that our obligation typically is to offer him his regular job, once the workers comp claim in completed, but that this situation is different, now that he is claiming an unrelated injury and that he is unable to do his regular job duties. BOLI suggested that we contact an employment law attorney, just to make sure we are in compliance.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
Thank you for the information and your question. What this employee is asking for is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. It doesn't have to have anything to do with a WC claim for an employee to ask for accommodations, like the one he is asking for. Your duty as an employer is to determine if you can accommodate him without causing an undue hardship on your business. But,you must first determine if he can perform the essential functions of his job with the accommodation. This is a very fact specific and technical issue and you really will want a local employment law attorney to guide you through this decision.
I say that because if you deny the accommodation, and the State or the EEOC (or courts) determine that the denial was unlawful, you could be liable for damages. Those could include back pay, front pay and any direct damages. If you want to read up a bit about this issue before you speak to your local attorney, you can go to the EEOC discussion of reasonable accommodations at the following link. It is very useful in evaluating the specific situation the employee and you are in: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html
Please let me know if you need any clarification.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 29th. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/
Thank you.

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