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Can my employer do this???? New Jersey

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  • Can my employer do this???? New Jersey

    I began working at my current job on October 21st 2010. On January 27th I slipped and fell off of my front steps (ice) and shattered my ankle. I needed 2 surgeries and lots of hardware. My employer was notified of my need for a leave of absence immediately. My orthopedic surgeon wrote a letter stating that my expected date of return would be May 16th. I filled out a request for a leave which the HR lady sent and sent it back. Never heard anything from them. Obtained state short-term disability. Stayed in touch with a couple of coworkers and my supervisor. Everyone seemed fine. Nobody said anything about my return date. Then today I get a letter in the mail from the executive director of the agency for which I am employed. It states that if I do not come back to work by April 29th I will be terminated as that is the date my leave is officially over. (News to me!) And, if I do get clearance from my dr to come back to work by the 29th, I MUST be able to perform ALL of my job duties according to my job description and contract without any limitations. Well, there is no way I will physically be able to perform ALL of my job duties by that date because I am not weight-bearing on my broken ankle, am walking with crutches and in an aircast. I just started physical therapy today! It is impossible for me to go back to work by the date they have claimed. Plus I am upset that this is the first I am hearing that this date of return exists. All along I was under the impression that the May 16th date was fine with everyone. And, because I only worked there for 3 months, I do not qualify for NJFMLA. What about reasonable accomodations for someone with a disability?? Is there anything I can do to save my job??? I love this job!!!!! HELP!!!

  • #2
    A broken ankle does not qualify as a disability for ADA purposes, so no accomodation is necessary. And even if it did, the employer is not required to provide extended leave as an accomodation or reduce your job duties.

    I'm sorry, but since you do not qualify for either the state or the Federal version of FMLA, they were not required to provide any medical leave at all. Instead, they provided all the leave they would have been required to provide if FMLA did apply, but are not willing to provide any more than that. I can't think of any state or Federal law that is going to require them to.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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