Is job reassignment considered reasonable accommodation after an ongoing workplace injury?

You may benefit from the legal advice of a workers compensation lawyer if you sustained a long term or permanent workplace injury that does not permit you to return to your job. If the injury limits your physical or mental ability in such a way that you cannot fulfill the job responsibilities you had before the injury, you may wonder if you can switch jobs. In fact, is your employer required to reassign you to a different job within the company?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This was a civil rights law passed in 1990, which prohibits anyone discriminating against somebody because they have a disability. This includes worker who are suffering a temporary or permanent disability that developed after a workplace accident. As a result, employers have a responsibility to not discriminate against an employee who cannot perform certain tasks due to their disability. This is true even if at one time they were able to successfully complete those tasks before they were injured. As a workers compensation lawyer who has reviewed your case might tell you, your employer may have an obligation under the ADA to reassign you to a different job that you can perform despite your disability.

Job Reassignment Criteria

There are several criteria that must be met before you can qualify for a job reassignment. If they are not met, the employer may not be obligated to reassign you to a different job. Talk to a workers compensation lawyer from our firm to find out more about how these criteria may affect your case.

  1. There must be an open position for your reassignment. If there is not an existing position, your employer is not obligated to create a new one on your behalf.  
  2. You must be qualified for the new assignment. You must satisfy the requirements to perform the new position in terms of experience, education, or whatever is needed to do the job. Your employer is not obligated to train you or otherwise do what is necessary to make you qualified for the position. Basically, whatever skills, experience, education or other requirements that anyone from outside the company must have in order to get the job, so too must you also possess.
  3. You cannot take the job if someone more senior than you is qualified and available for that position. The exception to this is if the company does not consistently adhere to a seniority system. In that scenario, it can be justified that because you have a disability you should be given preference to a particular job for which you are qualified.

If you were hurt while on the job and your injury precludes you from being able to return to your previous position, you may have the right to be reassigned to a new position. To learn more, contact a workers comp lawyer Nassau County trusts today.