Q: Is it possible to bring the law into a work-related injury when then managers refuse to help fix the issue?
I started working a new job a couple weeks to a month ago, and I started to develop rashes and stuff immediately, I went and talked to one of my managers and they told me that I would still need to work in the kitchen because it might be dry skin. I went to the doctors about it and they told me that not only did I have contact dermatitis, but I had also gotten cellulitis and that the longer I work in the area it would only get worse. I, again, told this to my managers (and the store manager) and they still told me it was dry skin and refused to move me. I've been hospitalized twice because of this and with their point system I could be losing my job although the reasons why I've been absent is because of the medical situation. Knowing how much pain I was in and actually seeing the rashes for themselves, they told me that I either stay working in there or quit and I can't exactly quit my job in this economy. I'm unsure what I can do right now and would appreciate any help I can get.
A: You may have a claim for failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act. To establish this claim, you must prove (1) you are a qualified individual with a disability; (2) your disability was known by your employer; and (3) your employer failed to make a reasonable accommodation for your known limitation. Employers are required to engage in an interactive process with you to find an accommodation that will allow you to perform your job (ex. wearing gloves or other protective gear, limiting your time in the kitchen, etc.). If your condition completely prevents you from working in the kitchen, even with an accommodation, then a request for reassignment to a vacant position you are qualified for can be a reasonable accommodation request. If you employer continues to refuse to work with you in accommodating your condition, you may have an ADA claim for failure to accommodate.
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