My wife recently had medically necessary surgery on her foot and works as a CNA/Med Tech. Her employer is saying there's no light duty she can do and refuses to accommodate any type. She works in an assisted living facility, so there are receptionist/secretarial tasks she could do in the interim. Since this is not a workman's comp issue, do we have any recourse? She has no type of disability pay available, so it looks like she's going to go without pay until she recovers.
Most CNA's in Assisted Living or Nursing Home care have in their job description they must be able to lift a certain number of pounds. Commonly that is 25 pounds but may be more or less. Usually more. Unless she is certified by her doctor to lift the job description amount, they can refuse to let her work. Also, they do not have to create a job for her or shorten the hours of another employee or transfer another employee to a less desirable position to accommodate her. They also do not have to pay to train her to be qualified for a new position. I wish I had better news for you. Possibly another attorney will answer with a different view on this.
I am licensed to practice law only in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. My phone number is 215.439.7781. Therefore, my knowledge is based primarily on law in those two states and Federal legal concepts. My answering your question is offered only as a free courtesy to provide you with general non-specific information. It is intended to help you when you seek and find a local attorney licensed in your state. This answer does NOT create a client-attorney relationship nor create any expectation of confidentiality or privacy concerning your public post. My answer is based only on the limited facts/information that you have presented in your post. For any lawyer to give you full and reliable advice, would require at the least, full one-on-one dialogue(s) with questions and answers being exchanged and any evidence being presented. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional advice from an attorney licensed in your state regarding the particular facts and circumstances of each matter. Before taking any action or deciding to take no action, I recommend that you consult with a local attorney(s) of your choosing; either private or with a non-profit organization that helps individuals without the means for hiring a private attorney. Good luck in your search to find a legal solution to your situation.
Attorney Powell's response is accurate. You also mention that it is not a WC injury, you should be aware that in PA an injury can be a work injury even if it is something that happens over time from work or if work aggravates a non work condition. It would not hurt to have it reviewed if it is a close call on that. Good luck.
Mr. Brennan is licensed to practice law only in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response could change.
Your wife should formally request accommodation for her condition. She should be given a chance to move to another position for which she is qualified if the position is open. The employer is not required to create a position, but if there is one listed, she should be considered for it, and if she is not given it, she should get an explanation.
I can't give you legal advice, other than the general information given above, unless you meet with me.
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