Madison, NJ asked in Employment Law for New Jersey

Q: What are my options when my supervisor is putting my health at risk and refuses to consider my doctor's orders?

NBOE staff started working remotely as of March 16, 2020. During this time, I developed an autoimmune condition. I have asked to work remotely until my health is stabilized and I'm not at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Currently, I'm seeing various specialists and I'm on various medication and therapy to stabilize my condition. My supervisor, has demanded me to rtn to central office despite doctor's orders. I asked for the same treatment as other staff but was denied without justification but later was told that I couldn't complete my responsibilities, as Management Specialist, from home but for me to submit a workplan (no one else was asked for one). I submitted the workplan and it clearly indicates that I can complete all assignments remotely. After review of the workplan, my request was still denied for the same reason which is not valid as I have been performing my work successfully and remotely for the past 4 months. Not sure what my options are and need advice.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: It sounds like you may have a claim for failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Disabled employees who work for companies with 15 or more employees are entitled to request reasonable accommodations from their employer. While your employer doesn't have to grant any specific request, they do need to engage in an interactive discussion with you to come up with an accommodation that will work for you and your employer. What job duties is your employer claiming you can't perform from home? If they are giving you specific reasons why your request isn't feasible, you may need to think of another option. However, if they are merely denying the request without any discussion, this is a violation of the ADA.

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