Injury doesn’t necessarily mean employee is disabled — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Injury doesn’t necessarily mean employee is disabled

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Sometimes, employees misunderstand what it means to be disabled under the ADA and state disability laws. For example, injuries that require extensive time off work for treatment and recovery may not be serious enough to constitute disabilities.

The employee still has to show that his or her condition substantially impairs a major life activity.

Recent case: Carla worked for Easter Seals as a therapeutic assistant in California. In June 2014, she broke her foot. She needed extensive treatment and her doctor recommended she take time off work to recover.

She had been out for about a month when her employer notified her that she had been terminated.

Carla sued, alleging that she could not be fired because a California law protects disabled workers from discharge if a reasonable accommodation is available. But her lawsuit didn’t include much in the way of details about her condition. For example, she never explained how her fractured foot would interfere with performing essential life functions like walking or working.

The court dismissed her lawsuit. It explained that California law doesn’t cover transient or temporary conditions, just permanent and serious ones. (Salazar v. Easter Seals Southern California, No. B267211, Court of Appeal of California, 2016)

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