What are my rights if I have worked on my job for over a year in a call center environment but can’t physically do the job that my employer wants to promote me to?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights if I have worked on my job for over a year in a call center environment but can’t physically do the job that my employer wants to promote me to?

I started as a agent on the phones and moved up in the company to retention and other avenues. They have recently selected me to be a team lead, which was fine until they demanded that I walk the floor constantly which is impossible due to the fact that I am boelegged in both knees. Now I feel my job is in jeopardy based on comments made by upper management. Can they hold me accountable for this or risk my job?

Asked on February 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

These questions are very fact-sensitive--the exact details matter a great deal--so for a definitive answer, you need to consult with an employment law attorney in depth. That said, as a rule of thumb or general answer, the issue is whether "walking the floor" is a necessary part of the job, and required of other team leads, or if only you are required to do this. If a team lead must walk the floor to monitor, supervise, etc., then if you can't do a necessary part of your job, the company can take employment action against you, up to and including termination.
But if it's not a necessary part of the job, they should have to accommodate you by allowing you to walk less and/or otherwise do the job without walking the floor so much; or if you are only team lead required to do this, they may be discriminating against you due to a disability (your knees). In these cases, you may have an employment discrimination claim IF some negative action is taken against--if you don't suffer any consequences, though, then the case is moot.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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