Can my employer say no to my coming back with restrictions?

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Can my employer say no to my coming back with restrictions?

I have been on short term disability for 4 months for a broken foot. My work said they would consider letting me back with restrictions. Now they decided I couldn’t come back with any restrictions at all and changed my status from full-time to PRN. And can they take my full-time position and give me a PRN unbenefited position? I was not offered to be fired, so can I collect unemployment once my short term disability is done?

Asked on November 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you cannot effectively or safely do your job with the restrictions, then yes, you employer can refuse to let you work with them, even if it had previously indicated that you could return with restrictions. That is because the law does not require an employer to employ someone who cannot do the job for which he or she was hired, or who would put the employer at risk of liability should he/she be injured or injure someone else. And if you cannot come back and work in the same position you'd had, they may change your position. It is possible you will be eligible for unemployment, if your pay and/or hours were so reduced that it could be considered that you were constructively (or effectively) fired.


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