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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Nurse claims employer did not provide reasonable accommodations

Some types of leave are offered to employees as a federal benefit. The Family and Medical Leave Act is one such program that is offered in all 50 states. It allows employees to take unpaid time away from work without jeopardizing their jobs. Recently, one woman filed a lawsuit, claiming that her employers fired her in violation of FMLA and failed to provide reasonable accommodations. California residents facing similar issues with employers may be able to learn something from the woman's case.  

The woman worked as a nurse in a hospital where she was injured in the line of duty. She filed a workers' compensation claim after the injury and continued to work with weight restrictions. Later, she took FMLA leave to care for her sick father. Following her two-week FMLA leave, she experienced a flare-up of her original workers' comp injury, leaving her unable to lift more than 10 pounds. 

Because of the new weight restrictions, the hospital determined that it was unable to offer light or modified duties to the woman. She reportedly was never offered another position within the hospital. Several weeks later, the woman was fired. 

The woman's lawsuit claims that she should have been offered a different position or some other reasonable accommodations, and that the firing was in violation of FMLA. The case is pending. In California, workers are protected from losing their jobs if they need to take time for qualified health or care-giving reasons. A person can choose to seek lost wages and damages when facing a similar situation. Many choose to do so with the help of an experienced attorney. 

Source: aspendailynews.com, "Ex-AVH nurse says firing broke labor law", Chad Abraham, March 29, 2018

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