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I have a back injury. I am hired as a medical assistant, however I know how to do a medical secretary job. Because of that I am basically forced to fill in due low staffing. This exacerbates my back injury to an extreme degree. I am in extreme pain and it is greatly affecting my outside life. I have asked for help with proper seating adjustments etc. But I am told that ‘everything takes time and must go through purchasing’. What are my options? Who can I go to next?
Asked on November 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts
M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
cUnder the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a worker is entitled to a reasonable accommodation if their condition legally qualifies as a disability. Employers and (if necessary, the courts) must look at how an employee's impairment affects their ability to perform their job duties activities. If they are substantially limited in being able to walk, lift, push, pull, eyc., they likely have a disability as defined by the ADA. That having been said, the ADA does not require employers to make accommodations that would cause them an undue hardship (i.e. significant difficulty or expense). However, back injuries are one of the most common workplace disabilities. This means employers have plenty of experience accommodating this problem, and a variety of assistive devices are available to help employees with tasks made painful by such injuries. Additionally, changes in a worker's schedule might help (e.g. short breaks every hour to stretch and move around). At this point, you can contact your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with a local employment law attorney; they can best advise you further from here.
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