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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I am on -term disability due to cancer. I am an floor nurse

Customer Question

I am on long-term disability due to cancer. I am an floor nurse with 12 hour shift. My doctor agreed that I could go back to work with 4 hour shift, and no lifting over 5 lbs. My jobs said they cannot accommodate me unless they know when I can go back to 100%. My doctor told them it was undetermined. Can they legally refuse to accommodate me?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I live in DE, but work in Pennsylvania.
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: 36 hours weekly, but consider full time.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 12 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Under the ADA an employer must make reasonable accommodations for an employee if the employee can still perform the essential functions of their job with the accommodation and the employer can do so without causing an undue hardship on their business/operations. So, not all accommodation requests must be granted. No one, except the EEOC, the State human rights agency and/or the courts can say whether or not your employer's refusal is unlawful since there would have to be an in depth fact-finding after investigation of both side's facts. However, you have the right to file a complaint with the State or the EEOC and let them try to resolve the issue through mediation. If they cannot, they will investigate the issue and make a determination. You could also, of course, consult with a local employment law attorney to discuss whether you should consider filing suit or let the agencies I mentioned investigate.

You might want to read what the EEOC says about reasonable accommodations by going to the following link. It is very helpful to get a sense of what an employer must consider and does and doesn't have to do for an accommodation.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
They are willing to try, and accommodate me if my doctor give them a move up date for me. They claimed they don't want to create a permanent position for me.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 12 months ago.

Alright, well that is a part of the evaluation they must do when determining "undue hardship." It can relate to how long they would have to get someone else to do your hours, which they may or may not have to do, depending on the facts and what the agencies and the court decides. Do you have a follow up question for me?

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 12 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 27th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone hrough. In your case I did not receive a reply to my last post or your rating.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good and cannot provide legal advice since we are not forming an attorney-client relationship via this forum. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

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:

Thank you.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I noted your response, and thought I would be getting a direct answer to my question but it appears to be a safe answer on your part.I had already did some research on the JAN site, and got pretty much the same information. Reasonable accommodation seem very vague, and I guess that puts my job in the driver's seat. I was hoping to try, and resolve my issues without the eeoc involved, because I have been with the company for 17 years.