Legal

Ask a lawyer and get answers to your legal questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Employee facing amputating fingers. Non workinjury but

Customer Question
Employee facing amputating fingers...

Employee facing amputating fingers. Non workinjury but impairs his ability to do his job as a low voltage electrician. What is my obligation an employer

Lawyer's Assistant: Can you tell me what state this is in? And do you have copies of any medical records?

GA. No. Says he will be back to work in a few days. We are a small business 10-12 employees

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

It was not work related

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
1/5/2018
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Verified

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Please allow me several minutes to read your facts and type my response both initially and when you add a follow up question or add facts. Please don't ask "are you there", "where is my answer", etc., since when you post it can erase what I am working on. If we are having a conversation unless I tell you I am going offline, I will be here but I may be doing research.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

What is your obligation as far as what?

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Employment. He is clearly a workman’s comp risk if we let him return right away or at all.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
He crushed his index finger on his dominant hand working on his car on his day off. We don’t have any “light work duty”. He has been employed less than a year and is not a key employee with any advanced training. We took him on as a trainee.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

You are under an obligation to let him return, or at least not to terminate him, due to his injury since it will no doubt be considered a "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The best way to handle that issue is to hire a local employment lawyer to draft a letter explaining that you are going to allow him to come back to work but he must be both safe and able to continue doing his work. You can also ask at that time for any "reasonable accommodations" he wants to request. It's not something you want to do yourself, since it is very easy for an employer to act in a way that can be misinterpreted and thus subject you to liability.

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
As a tech he climbs a ladder, Carryies heavy boxes, wires up fire alarms which requires dexterity. Can we require a doctors release like we require on a workman’s comp injury.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Yes, although it isn't the same type of release. Many employers believe that using the same release and procedures will protect them, but it will not. The ADA is an entirely different law and has entirely different purposes. That's the reason I normally tell the customers to speak to a local lawyer and let them handle the initial paperwork. After that, and after you see how the process worked, the employer can usually handle the next one themselves or with much less assistance.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
This is devastring for him but he is putting other people and property at risk. I am mostly concerned at the fact he plans on returning just 4 days after the amputation. I also believe they will operate on other parts of the same hand.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

Some people are able to return to work that quickly and some aren't. Certainly I would think it would take longer than that for pain reasons if nothing else. You can't make blanket assumptions as to this employee's condition.

Do you have written guidelines for how you are to handle injured employees who were not injured on the job? How to handle disabilities, etc?

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I just see the high probability of compounding the disability with a workman’s comp claim if he hurts himself or others. These guys hang from the rafters with harnesses and are up on lifts. I am an owner and a technician and I know I would not be able to do it with a mangled hand.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

That may be true, but if you get sued you can guarantee that the lawyer will present experts who will testify that it can be done, what accommodations could have been made, etc.

You are certainly within your rights to be sure there is a doctor's release. However, the request must be made using the right language to be sure it is viewed as concern as opposed to looking for a way to fire the employee.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No guildines. In 20 years we have never had the issue. With large companies we had the obligation but with small business I thought the guidelines we different. We have no obligation to hire handicapped employees as we did experience this and the job requirements were such that a person could not do the job. I just find it hard to believe that if the employee was committed to a wheelchair I would have to give him his job back or he could sue.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The language is “reasonable” accommodations. Giving someone a job they can not perform certainly is not reasonable
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

You don't necessarily have to give them their job back but you do have to consider giving them the job back and look into ways that they may be able to do their job, in your example, from their wheelchair. For instance, a UPS driver and delivery person wouldn't be able to do their job from a wheelchair. However, a person who was an attendant at the popcorn counter in a movie theater might be able to do their job if the counter was lowered, etc.

You also have to remember that the chances of you getting an employer on a jury are low whereas the chances of getting employees on a jury are almost 100%. The employees, typically, side with an employee unless the employer did everything to see if they could reasonably accommodate the injured employee.

In a case where a person lost a finger, it will be relatively easy to find experts who will state they could still do their job with some basic changes. The loss of a finger doesn't, normally, qualify you for Social Security or private insurance disability, prevent them from being insured by your insurance company or other issues.

Also, the term disability is defined very, very broadly so the employee will almost certainly be considered disabled and then you get into what you, the employer, did to determine whether they could be reasonably accommodated.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Well without my index and second finger I could not hang from rafters safely, wire up high and low voltage without damaging equipment. If we give him the job back and he has an accident will we have to pay for that too if his accident is due to the disability.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

If he is on the job, yes. Please understand I am not saying you have to give him his job back. What I am saying is that there is a proper way to go through the procedures and make the determination, or have someone else make the determination, that he can't perform the "essential functions" of his regular job "with or without reasonable accommodations".

The key here is that you have to develop a process that is legal and then follow that process. Many people who want to go back to work, can't and that's not your fault or against the law. There is no requirement that you give him a different job, take essential duties away from the job, or anything like that.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Understood but to ask him what accommodation he needs he wil not say much as he is desperate to work. Desperate people look for ways out. We had an employee get a large settlement from being in a small rear end collision in a company vehicle commuting before work hours. It just seems as a small. Business we are stuck. We have a lawyer to do the contact but he is not in today I was looking to you for details how to go about it legally knowing there is no possible legal accommodation. He will be under pain meds and he drives one of our vehicles. None of it sounds reasonable to just ask him what he needs. It sounds more reasonable to give the requirements to his doctor and have them certify his patient can do those things this close after injury and on medication.
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

The concept of giving the doctor a list of the essential functions of the job and then asking can they be done is a good one, but you want the letter to be phrased correctly. In addition, if there are government regulations, such as OSHA, which prevent the work then those can be referenced as well. A letter could even be sent to OSHA, along with a copy of the doctor's information/prognosis, asking is OSHA approves this employee doing his duties subject to the restrictions.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

I have explained how to "go about it legally", but you need your company lawyer who can do a full interview about the job and the work actually draft the letters and other documents. As the website points out when you sign up, there is no attorney-client relationship formed here, which is necessary to have a number of protections in place, including you being questioned about the lawyer's adivce to you.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

I'm going to be offline for a little while but feel free to post any additional questions and I will pick them up when I return

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 7 months ago

.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
34,389 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992

Dwayne B. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,658 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

22,843 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

44,266 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo Senmartin

Guillermo Senmartin

Lawyer

301 satisfied customers

Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

17,183 satisfied customers

Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
I am about to sign a contract to work for a Michigan based
Hi, I am about to sign a contract to work for a Michigan based company who is expanding to Dallas, Tx as a BCBA. I am extremely concerned about the non compete clause they want me to sign and would li… read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
2,795 satisfied customers
I own a small business in Texas and I do not have workers
Hello, I own a small business in Texas and I do not have workers comp. I hired a guy who on his second day broke his finger. I wanted to know if I am responsible to cover his medical bill … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
13,941 satisfied customers
Thanks so much site!! My employer (In Georgia) changed my
Hi. Thanks so much for this site!! My employer (In Georgia) changed my title to "Manager" over a year ago, and informed me that my position would be "Exempt". Since then, I have been required to work … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
12,707 satisfied customers
Kindly review the information below and then answer the questions
Kindly review the information below and then answer the questions that follow: FYI-->My employer XXX is a leading Software firm in US with operations in India.I am an employee of the India Office,c… read more
TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
4,347 satisfied customers
My employer has given me a questionnaire to take to my doctor.
My employer has given me a questionnaire to take to my doctor. My hours have declined from 6-7 hours per day to five hours per day. This is an excerpt from what she has given me. Is it all legal? Exce… read more
MShore Law
MShore Law
Doctoral Degree
1,233 satisfied customers
I signed a non compete in NC approximately 3.5 years ago.
I signed a non compete in NC approximately 3.5 years ago. The agreement was never mentioned before I started this job or during the interview process, by that time I had quit my previous job in order … read more
D. WINOGO ESQ.
D. WINOGO ESQ.
Hearing Officer/Attorney
Doctoral Degree
100 satisfied customers
Hi- I have a very onerous non-compete clause in my (Texas
Hi- I have a very onerous non-compete clause in my (Texas employment contract) and I have just started at my new job in New York. I don't believe the contract would hold up in court- but I have a spec… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
22,843 satisfied customers
In California; when a supervisor submits an approved work schedule
In California; when a supervisor submits an approved work schedule for the week, then makes changes to that schedule! How is the employee too be notified of subject change? Also, can an employer make … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
33,739 satisfied customers
I hired an electrician 7-17-06 based on his bid of $10,800.
I hired an electrician 7-17-06 based on his bid of $10,800. work was completed 10-31-06. begged him for a bill during remodeling and even after - once tracked him to another job to ask for a final bil… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Doctoral Degree
20,649 satisfied customers
Is it legal for an employer to not take an employee back after
Is it legal for an employer to not take an employee back after 11 1/2 months of medical leave for a serious injury? I have been on medical leave, disability through my insurance from my company, payin… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
i was recently fired from my auto service writer job who had
i was recently fired from my auto service writer job who had me sign a form that i would not solicite his customers when i leave,can i advertise my name in a pennysaver ad at my new job ?… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Doctoral Degree
20,649 satisfied customers
i work for target dc there company policy is to offer modified
i work for target dc there company policy is to offer modified duty due to a work related injury up to 12 weeks. i asked them for reasonable accomadations due to my work related disablity they said i … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
22,843 satisfied customers
my husband is signed a non compete agreement a few years back.
my husband is signed a non compete agreement a few years back. he was forced to sign the agreement or else find a new job. we live in va. his business is downsizing and we would like to know what we c… read more
lwpat
lwpat
Doctoral Degree
256 satisfied customers
I have sleep apnea, my job requires me to work my 8am to 5pm
I have sleep apnea, my job requires me to work my 8am to 5pm hrs. every week, two nights, and 1 weekend a mo. We had an agreement that I work 1 evening a week until 10:30 pm, now my supervisor broke h… read more
JPEsq
JPEsq
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,132 satisfied customers
I work for a referral caregiving company that places you ...
I work for a referral caregiving company that places you with a home to take care of the elderly in their home. I signed a form to not work with the client if I were to quit, I understand Ga is a righ… read more
legaleagle
legaleagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,047 satisfied customers
Is there a California law that requires employes to take a
Is there a State of California law that requires employers to schedule a minimum 45 minute lunch for all employees??… read more
P. Hupka
P. Hupka
Paralegal & Court Stenographer
Associate Degree
58 satisfied customers
If you are out of work due to surgery. And you are told you ...
If you are out of work due to surgery. And you are told you still have a job. But 2 days later they call and terminate you. Is this legal?… read more
Lawmoe
Lawmoe
Lawyer with 20 years of experience
Juris Doctorate
2,405 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x