Q) The retail shop I work in is currently getting remodeled with new carpet and paint. We are required to work during the remodel which will last about one month. The fumes from the adhesives and carpet are making me physically ill. Nausea and breathing issues. I have a doctors note stating I cannot work in these conditions. Can they let me go for this reason? If they let me go can I collect unemployment benefits?
A) It is unlikely that your employer can let you go for this reason. If you have a doctor’s note stating that you cannot work in these conditions, then your employer is required to accommodate you. This means that they must find a way for you to work that does not expose you to the fumes. If they are unable to accommodate you, then they may be required to let you go. However, you would still be eligible for unemployment benefits.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. If you have a disability that prevents you from working in certain conditions, then your employer is required to accommodate you.
- Your state’s employment laws. The employment laws in your state may also provide protections for employees with disabilities.
- Your doctor’s note. Your doctor’s note should state that you have a disability that prevents you from working in the current conditions. It should also state that you are able to work in other conditions.
If your employer tries to let you go, you should speak with an employment lawyer. The lawyer can help you to understand your rights and options under the law.