In May 2011, I tore my left rotator cuff. June 10, I was seen by an Ortho Dr. (insurance company referral) who released me to sedentary duty. My employer accommodated me. On July 29, when I was again released to sedentary duty, suddenly the employer could not accommodate the restrictions. I was forced out on disability. After an MRI, the PTP confirmed significant damage but upgraded my restrictions to light duty. The employer still claims they cannot accommodate me.
The only "undue hardship" on the employer is that two other management staff are now working more hours to cover my shifts. During the 7 weeks of sedentary duty, my immediate supervisor reassigned heavy lifting to other employees with no disruption of operations and no "undue hardship" on the employer.
Can I file ADA ?
I am on WC disability but still have not received any benefits since July 30th. The Ortho Dr. has said that even if I have surgery, he could not release me to full duty with the extent of my injury as I would not be restored to pre-injury status.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Generally speaking an employer is not required to offer you a job in Georgia when you have an on the job injury. If you are on restricted duties and they won't accomodate you, they should commence your weekly disability check. They have 21 days from the date your disability began to get you your first check. If the company's insurance company has not done so by now, you should consult an attorney.
You may have an ADA claim depending on many factors, including the size of your company. Those claims are very difficult to prevail on. You should speak to an attorney about that. It would appear that your best avenue for immediate income would be workers comp.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Generally speaking, if you have a work injury and your doctor states that you cannot perform your job duties and your employer cannot accommodate light duty, then you should be receiving compensation for a portion of your lost wages. Have you talked to a workers comp attorney? You should be able to get a free consultation. It's a great way to get your questions answered and figure out the next steps you need to take, including collecting any past benefits you are owed. I'm licensed in Illinois, but I can recommend a colleague in your area if you need a referral.
It sounds like you have a lot of things going on with your workers' compensation claim, and you definitely need to discuss these issues with a Georgia workers' compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. As a general rule, workers' compensation is the "exclusive remedy" in Georgia for injuries incurred on the job and the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act has a specific process that an employer is required to follow in order to attempt to return an injured worker to duty subject to any restrictions placed on them by their authorized treating physician. While my practice is focused primarily on workers' compensation, I would be more than willing to provide you a referral to an employment law specialist for your questions concerning the ADA, as well as to answer any additional questions you might have concerning your Georgia workers' compensation claim. Please feel free to call me at 770-554-8100 for assistance. I wish you all the best with your claim.