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I need labor law advice for a return to work after surgery with restrictions

Studio City, CA |

I am a nursery school teacher, had shoulder surgery am able to come back to work with a doctors note. I have modified work of not lifting anything ten pounds or over above my head, right hand only.
My work is stating that I have to have no restrictions what so ever. However I know for a fact that many others at work come with special boots on their feet, have come with broken wrists and nothing was done at all etc. I just want to come back to work the kids are 5 years old.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Your employer is obligated to engage in a good faith effort to accommodate your medical restrictions.
    From your post, it appears that your employer has not done so, but it is not clear under what circumstances others were permitted to return to work with broken wrists (and presumably more work restrictions), what their job duties were and how the employer was able to accomodate them. You need to carefully document your requests for accommodations based upon your medical condition. You should seek help from a knowledge employment attorney ASAP.


  2. If your work is not accommodating your doctor's recommendations, you may have a claim for disability discrimination as well as failure to accommodate. A full consultation would be necessary to properly advise you.


  3. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with work restrictions due to a disability or medical condition. This burden is significant for employers and most accommodations, including the very reasonable ones you have identified, can easily be accommodated. You should promptly talk with an employment attorney about your rights and options. Most of us provide free consultations. Good luck.


  4. I agree with the other responses that your employer must engage in a good faith "interactive process" with you. Talk to a lawyer on this case. Sounds like a potential winner. Your employer is probably going to have to allow you to come to work with your restrictions or face a lawsuit. Lawyers take these cases on a contingency (percentage) fee arrangement, so there should be no out of pocket on your end.

    Best of luck.


  5. In California, an employer is required to engage in a good faith interactive process in order to determine what reasonable accommodations, if any, are required by a disabled employee to perform the essential functions of her job. If your employer has not engaged you in the interactive process before determining that you must come back to work with no restrictions, you may have a potential disability discrimination claim as well as a failure to accommodate claim. It is imperative that you speak with an experienced employment law attorney in order to determine your legal options in this matter.

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