Q. One of our employees has been out on disability leave for almost 16 months. He says he wants to return to work, but only if we give him a supervisory position without a lot of strenuous activity. We have no such position available. We've offered him other positions, but he's refused them all. Can we legally terminate him? L.B., North Carolina
A. Based on these limited facts, you're probably safe to let this employee go. Remember, your ADA duty to offer a “reasonable accommodation” doesn't require that you let the employee choose the accommodation. If more than one reasonable accommodation exists, your organization can choose which to offer.
Here, by offering your employee a job transfer (presumably at the same pay, hours and benefits) you've effectively cleared your ADA duty. That means you don't have to continue holding his job open after he refuses the accommodation offer.
- Make sure employee handbook supports compliance with leave laws
- Accommodation may mean leave plus reinstatement
- Altering employee's schedule? Be sure to document your reasons for making the change
- How can we assess a worker's alleged learning disability? Do we have to pay for it?
- Paying for steward's time spent on the grievance process