Can an employer ask me to resign if I have a note stating I can’t work nights

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer ask me to resign if I have a note stating I can’t work nights

I am an rn that was supposed to be on
night shift but due to a medical
condition my NP gave me Drs note
stating I am unable to,do nights. I
have it to my employer and she said she
doesn’t have any day shifts so there is
nothing she can do. I contacted HR.
They told me I would have to resign
from my icu position and externally
apply for a new job. I would think they
would have to accommodate me in another
position. I shouldn’t have to resign

Asked on December 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Letting you change shifts is not a "reasonable accommodation." A reasonable accomodation is one that is not too expensive or disruptive for the employer.
1) If your job was to work nights, if they don't currently have someone available to do this, they'd have to hire a replacement for you.
2) An reasonable accommodation for you does not include displacing another employee, so if the day shift is full, it is not reasonable to make them bump another employee for you.
3) They also are allowed to be skeptical of certain requets: to even have to consider your request in the first place, you'd have to not just have a doctor's (or in this case, NP note), but an actual diagnosis of a condition which provably  and causally and credibly lets you work by day, but not at night. It is possible that they found the claimed need unpersuasive, in additon to the factors above.
Since the shift change is not a reasonable accommodation, you need to work nights, or resign, or be terminated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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