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Light Duty

How long can an employee be on light duty? Is there a time limit?

There is no set time limit for how long an employee can be on light duty. It depends on the details of situation, specifically is the employee protected by any federal or state leave or anti-discrimination law, the employer’s past practice with similarly situated employees, and any agreements made with the employee.

Let’s say the employee’s condition is considered a disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to covered employees to allow them to perform their jobs. A reasonable accommodation may be job modifications or light duty.

There is no magic number for how long light duty must be allowed. Thus, employers must consider what they’re able to provide to employees and past practice. Basically, the ADA requires employers to have interactive dialogue with employees to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations can be made to allow the employee to perform their duties. Employers must have honest communication with the employee about requested accommodations and alternate ones.

So, an employer may allow an employee to work 3 weeks of light duty but at the end of that three weeks the employer must open the dialogue for other possible accommodations, if any.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 2:10 pm and is filed under
Workplace Management.
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