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Must we reassign disabled worker to a new job?

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who just developed a disability that will keep him from performing his job for an unknown time. After he uses up his FMLA and other accumulated leave, do we have an obligation to look for another position for him? — T.T., South Carolina

A.
Yes, the ADA requires you to offer a reasonable accommodation to disabled employees and it specifically identifies “reassignment to a vacant position” as one type of accommodation. However, this does not mean you must create or vacate a position for the disabled person.

Furthermore, the employee must be qualified for the position and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

Before considering reassignment as a reasonable accommodation, first consider other accommodations that would enable this employee to remain in his current position.

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