Can my employer require me to work night shifts when I am isually impaired?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer require me to work night shifts when I am isually impaired?

I have pathological myopia and difficulty seeing after dark. My employer has accommodated my request to remain on day shifts for the past 8 years. Recently our staff has been cut in half, and I am now required to work midnight shifts, even though my employer is aware that it is unsafe for me to drive after dark. Other than quitting my job, do I have any rights in this situation?

Asked on January 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If due to cut backs, the library is short staffed and needs you to work night shifts, then yes--they can require this, and your only recourse would be to seek other employment. While an employer must make a "reasonable accomodation" to an employee's disability, a reasonable accomodation is one that is not too expensive or disruptive. If not scheduling you for night shifts would disrupt operations or force them to hire another employee, that is not reasonable, and so they would not be required to omit you from night shifts.

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