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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Given a Bad Performance Evaluation Despite Informing Employer of a Back Condition

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of:Nebraska
    I received a negative performance evaluation from a supervisor because " it seemed like I did not want to work". I have a back injury that keeps me for doing certain tasks at work. It didn't start till a couple of years of employment. The injury did not happen at work but happened 20 years ago and has just now started to affect my everyday life. I started going to a chiropractor who told me I have spondylosis caused by a fractured vertebrae that healed wrong. I gave them a letter that stated this and some recommended restrictions. They told me a chiropractor is not a doctor so the letter meant nothing. I went to my family doctor who told my the same thing and I again gave them a letter stating the same thing and some more recommended restrictions. One of the recommended restrictions was to be allowed to take short breaks to stretch and walk around a bit. This kept me from doing one specific job, but still slows me down when I do other jobs involving bending, twisting and stooping. It is a chronic condition that will never go away but they insisted on another letter from my doctor to be clear on my condition and restrictions. This time I went to a neck and spine specialist, who told me the exact same thing as the other doctors, and they act like it is a pulled muscle or something simple like that. I asked to speak to the HR manager about the review because I did not think that it was a fair review. My production quota was in the low 90s at that time. Next thing I know I am out of that department and labeled a troublemaker. It is frustrating because I have always worked hard and done my best to do a good job. I should just forget it and move on but I can't. Do I have any kind of legal case?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Given a Bad Performance Evaluation

    Even if FMLA applied, your employer is only obliged to provide "reasonable" accommodations.

    Now, which law/s do you think may have been broken?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,495

    Default Re: Given a Bad Performance Evaluation

    It's the ADA that provides for accommodations - FMLA provides for medical leave.

    A few things: Making an employer aware of a medical condition is not the same thing as requesting an accommodation. Employers are not supposed to guess that an accommodation is needed - it's your responsiblity to make it clear that you need one.

    Additionally, there are no circumstances whatsoever under which an employer is required to accept less than standard work performance or reduced production quotas, unless they have expressly agreed to do so as part of an agreed-to accommodation. They are never required to remove an essential function of your position (although the removal of non-essential functions can be considered reasonable).

    A doctor's notes are not binding on the employer - the law does not say that the employer is required to adhere to the doctor's restrictions.

    Finally, there are no laws anywhere in the US that expressly oversee performance reviews.

    If you had requested an accommodation from HR, completely fulfilled your part of it and then been given a poor review AND you could tie the poor review directly to the accommodation, then you might have some legal grounds to complain to the EEOC. As things stand, I'm not seeing any recourse for the poor review. But I would recommend that going forward, you self-identify to HR as needing to invoke your rights under the ADA, using exactly those words, and work with them to find an accommodation that works, keeping in mind that they are not obligated to give you the one you want or even the one the doctor recommends, and also keeping in mind the other measures I've explained.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Given a Bad Performance Evaluation

    Ugh. Apologies.

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