Travel has not been a requirement for this job. This particular business trip was a one-off event. Now, even with a clot, they are requested me to travel. My attending physician recommends I do not travel long distances. What are my legal rights?
Based on the facts you have provided, the answer is NO, your employer cannot fire you because you cannot fly. The law requires your employer to accommodate your new restriction so long as it does not create an undue hardship and that doing so would not constitute a danger to yourself or others. If travel has never been a requirement for the job, then that is likely not an essential function of your job. Thus, your employer need only accommodate you by either not requiring you to travel, or allowing you to travel by alternative means (i.e. train, or other non-flying travel). Other reasonable alternatives might be video-conferencing or other non-travel options for you to interface with those a distance away. In other words, assuming your statement that travel has never been a requirement for your job, it would likely be a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act for your employer to terminate you, or demote you, because of your new medical condition.
You should be sure your employer has your attending physician's note restricting you to no air travel and then when asked to do so, refuse. If you are terminated or demoted, call an attorney immediately. Alternatively, you could have an attorney knowledgeable about disability discrimination write your employer a letter refusing for you.
I wish you the best of luck.
Pedersen Heck McQueen, APLC is an Orange County employee rights law firm. Disability discrimination constitutes a large part of our present practice. Please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
Talk to an employment discrimination attorney whose practice includes disability discrimination. You are in the neighborhood of one of the very best: Michael Kirschbaum http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/92614-ca-michael-kirschbaum-193242.html
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
I agree with Ms. McCall that your fact situation merits some follow up (prior - travel not required, post-incident travel now required) and further agree that Mr. Kirschbaum, by virtue of his excellent answers on Avvo would be a good referral.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
You should consult with an attorney in person or over the phone about this. In a general sense, your rights include an engagement by the employer to determine if they can accommodate the request for no long flights and to actually accommodate this request if it is reasonable to do so. Our office handles disability discrimination claims involving these types of issues.
Steven M. Sweat
Glotzer & Sweat, LLP
280 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 302
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.
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