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Must we restructure job for injured worker?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. One of our school employees hurt her back while assisting students in the classroom. She went out on workers’ comp and has now reached maximum improvement, according to her doctor. But she can’t do her old job. Do we have to provide another job for her? — T.L., Tennessee

A. If you have a light-duty program, then you may need to provide the employee with a light-duty position, depending on the terms of your program.

If the employee has a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then you may have a duty to reasonably accommodate her injury. A reasonable accommodation can include restructuring her old job to eliminate nonessential functions or reassigning her to another, vacant position that she can perform.

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