If you have been injured at work after your employer denied you an accommodation, you need to seek legal help right away. As your lawyers will explain, you may have two different kinds of cases: a workers’ compensation case and a disability discrimination case.
What Is an Accommodation?
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act protect workers who have disabilities. They make it illegal to discriminate against workers because of their disabilities and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled workers.
Workers with disabilities may need various changes in the workplace to help them perform their jobs and avoid hazards or aggravating injuries. These changes are called accommodations. After an employee with a qualifying disability requests an accommodation, the employer must work with the employee to pick an appropriate accommodation. Accommodations may include: a leave of absence, modification of work equipment, a part-time work schedule, transfer to a vacant job position, and more.
Denied an Accommodation, Then Injured
Unfortunately, many employers resist providing accommodations to employees. This failure to accommodate and failure to engage in the interactive process may give rise to employment law claims, for which you should speak to an employment lawyer. When employers do not provide appropriate accommodations, employees can get injured. Those injuries may give rise to separate workers’ compensation claims.
For example, an employee with a medically diagnosed spinal disorder could notify his employer that he needs accommodations to sit comfortably in an office chair at his desk. If the employer refuses to make adjustments to the employee’s workspace or provide other accommodations, the employee may have employment law claims. If the employee injures his back while sitting in the uncomfortable chair, he may have a workers’ compensation claim because his existing medical condition was aggravated at work.
This article provides only a basic outline of the interplay between accommodation denials and related work injuries. Again, if this happened to you, you need to speak to an attorney right away to receive legal advice based on your specific situation.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.